Is the ACT Optional?

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As you’re scouring college admission websites, you may have noticed that many universities are going test optional. That may come as a surprise: for decades, standardized exams such as the ACT have been required components of U.S. college admissions. Schools use your test scores—in addition to other parts of your application—to gauge how prepared you are for the rigors of college academics. 

If these tests are such a conventional part of the admissions process, then what does test optional mean? Is the ACT optional? Which portions of the ACT are optional? Who exactly is it optional for, and who is required to take it? And if the ACT isn’t mandatory, are there reasons you should consider taking the test and submitting your scores anyway? 

Let’s dig deep so you can decide whether you should be registering for the ACT as you prepare for the college application process.





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