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The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of curriculum-based tests in the following subject areas: English, mathematics, reading, science, and an optional writing test. The ACT is comprised of 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete. The ACT is administered on six days throughout the United States: September, October, December, February, April, and June. Alexander High School is a test site for each of these administrations.

Students in grades 6- 12 and high school graduates are eligible to take the ACT. There are advantages to taking the test during your junior year of high school. At this point students have completed most of the course work corresponding to the test material. Test results will arrive in time for a student to plan their senior year. Students may see a need to take additional courses in specific subjects where their score was lower than they would have liked.

ACT results are accepted by all four year colleges and universities in the United States. Colleges receive scores in plenty of time to contact students the summer prior to their senior year. Colleges may send information to prospective students regarding admissions, course placement, scholarships, and special programs, based on interests and scores.

The ACT measures what a student has learned across the curriculum. Scores are based on the number of correct answers with no penalty for guessing. The exam is scored on a scale of 0-36. The ACT also has an interest inventory that allows students to evaluate their interests in various career options.

The ACT is often compared to the SAT. The SAT is more of an aptitude test based on reasoning and verbal abilities. The ACT covers four subject areas with an optional writing test. The SAT has three components: critical reasoning, mathematics, and writing.

The 2012 scores from the students in the Douglas County School System who participated in the ACT have improved compared to the 2011 scores.   Mathematics, reading, and science scores increased while English scores decreased slightly.  The total composite score, however, showed an increase over last year. In fact, this score has increased three years in a row.

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