The ACT (American College Testing) college readiness assessment is a standardized test for high school achievement and college admissions in the United States produced by ACT, a nonprofit of the same name.
The ACT has seen a gradual increase in the number of test takers since its inception, and in 2011 the ACT surpassed the SAT for the first time in total test takers; that year, 1,666,017 students took the ACT and 1,664,479 students took the SAT.
All four-year colleges and universities in the United States accept the ACT, but different institutions place different emphases on standardized tests such as the ACT, compared to other factors of evaluation such as class rank, GPA, and extracurricular activities.
ACT Inc. says that the ACT assessment measures high school students' general educational development and their capability to complete college-level work with the multiple choice tests covering four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The optional Writing Test measures skill in planning and writing a short essay.
Specifically, ACT states that its scores provide an indicator of "college readiness," and that scores in each of the subtests correspond to skills in entry-level college courses in English, algebra, social science, humanities, and biology.
The main four tests are scored individually on a scale of 1–36, and a Composite score is provided which is the whole number average of the four scores.