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How a State ACT Differs from National Dates

State ACT testing works a bit different than national Saturday testing, so it’s no wonder families are confused!

All Juniors Take the ACT in: Alabama*, Arkansas, Hawaii*, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana*, Nebraska*, Nevada*, North Carolina*, North Dakota*, Utah*, Wisconsin*, Wyoming

District Choose & Majority Choose ACT: Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma*, South Carolina, Tennessee

Do students need to register themselves for a statewide ACT administration?

No, your school will take care of registration.

On a school day prior to the test administration, students will complete the registration process. It's crucial students correctly list their personal information so it is matched correctly to their national test date attempts in the same ACT account for when ordering scores to send to the colleges in the future.

When will the statewide tests be offered?

There are several date options schools have to choose from including both online and pencil-to-paper formats. If you live in the Greater Cincinnati area, here is the list of test date choices by school. Outside Cincinnati? Check with your school counselor. 

Can a statewide ACT be used to apply to college?

Yes, this ACT is an actual ACT and can be sent to colleges unless the school district gave testing accommodations that ACT did not approve. That exception affects few students. Students also still receive 4 free ACT score reports, if they choose to use them.

Some families, mine included, opt to not have scores sent to colleges until they've seen them. If this is what your family decides, be sure to communicate this to your child so they don't accidently list colleges when they are completing the registration process at school for the state test. 

Can a student opt to take the optional writing portion of the ACT during statewide testing?

On the above list the states that give the writing portion to students are marked with an asterisk*. On the other state tests writing add on is not an option and if needed or desired will needed to be added on a Saturday national test date.  

Will scores be available online as quickly as national test dates?

No, scores are first mailed to the student’s home then later will move into their online account. The average time for receiving state test scores is about 4 weeks which is more than twice as long as most national test dates. Plan for the score delay as this will impact when you take the ACT next if the student plans on meaningful preparation for the next testing attempt.  Looking for your state test scores? This post may help.

Will students on IEP’s and 504’s receive testing accommodations on state testing?

For students starting with the state test for ACT testing, their school will initiate and apply for accommodations on their behalf. While having a 504 or IEP is never a guarantee of receiving accommodations on the ACT, most students are approved. For those who are not and believe they should get accommodations, they may appeal the decision.

Once approved for accommodations these are used on all future test dates.

Students taking an official ACT on a national test date prior to their state test will initiate the request for accommodations on their own if wishing to use accommodations.

With every ACT, our belief is never to walk in cold.

Engage in meaningful preparation for maximized scores, more college options & better scholarships.

Learn more about guaranteed improvement here! 


* = testing that includes the optional writing section

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