ACT Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ACT Test?
The ACT test is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in English, math, reading, and science. Students generally take the ACT during the spring of their junior year in high school. DVUSD will be funding the test for all DVUSD high school juniors on February 28, 2017. To accommodate the testing of all juniors, a Late Start day will be provided at all high schools. Please note: Students must complete the pre-administration steps at school prior to February 24th in order to be eligible to test.
Why is the Deer Valley Unified School District funding the ACT examination for students?
Providing access to the ACT test is part of district’s commitment to helping students improve their college and career readiness. Additionally, the ACT will provide data for the district and the schools to use in evaluating the effectiveness of curriculum and programs in preparing students for college and careers.
Why should my student take the ACT Test?
Students can benefit from participating in the ACT testing in several ways:
• Data will be provided to students and parents showing strengths and weaknesses in subject areas tested allowing students/parents to work with teachers and counselors to determine areas of focus for remaining coursework
• College and career planning component is included allowing students/parents a tool for determining career interests, college majors, and occupational fields most suited for the student
• College admissions test (Students can choose up to four colleges to send scores for free)
When is the test date?
DVUSD will be administering the ACT test on Tuesday, February 28th. There is no makeup day. Since the ACT is a timed test, tardy students will not be able to test. Freshmen, sophomores, and seniors will have a Late Start day. Students approved for accommodations may test over multiple days. Prior to the testing date, students will complete a section with questions about educational and career plans. This section must be complete prior to the test date.
Will my student be penalized for not participating in the ACT test at the high school?
This is an optional test, so students will not be penalized for choosing not to participate. However, taking advantage of this free testing opportunity has many advantages for students. See "Why should my student take the ACT test?" above.
What is the format of the test?
The ACT is a pencil-paper test which includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 4 hours to complete, including a short break. Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes.
Can students use a calculator?
Yes, students are permitted to use a calculator on the mathematics portion only. If a student chooses to use a calculator, he/she must provide his/her own. Students may not share calculators. Students may bring any 4-function, scientific, or graphing calculator as long as it is a permitted calculator. For more calculator information, go to: http://www.actstudent.org/faq/calculator.html
Are accommodations available for students with disabilities?
Each high school has an ACT Accommodations Coordinator who will submit requests for accommodations to ACT for appropriate students. For more information about accommodations, go to: http://www.actstudent.org/regist/disab/
Can students take the ACT more than once?
Although DVUSD will only fund testing for students listed above once, students may register to take the ACT again at their own expense. Some students may opt to take the ACT twice, once as a junior and once as a senior. Some students may choose to take the ACT once and the SAT once, choosing to send the better score report. Since the ACT and SAT tests are different in approach and scoring, students may do better on one over the other. For more information on taking the ACT again, go to: http://www.actstudent.org/faq/more.html
How should my student prepare for the test day?
The best preparation for the ACT test is to engage fully in your coursework to gain a solid foundation in courses such as English, math, science and social studies. Prior to the test date, read the information about calculators (see above). You can also complete practice tests by going to the following site:
Be sure to get a good night’s sleep and eat a nutritious breakfast on the test day. Bring a jacket or sweater, extra number 2 pencils, your school ID, and a calculator (optional).
When will my student receive his/her scores?
Score reports will be mailed by ACT to the student 3-8 weeks after testing. Students may access their online score reports about one week after receiving the printed score report in the mail. To access the online report and a variety of other services, go to www.actstudent.org. The student will need to set up a student web account with ACT.
What if I have more questions?
Go to the ACT web site FAQ page at: http://www.actstudent.org/faq/
Go to your school’s web page: www.dvusd.org (choose school from drop down menu)
Contact your school’s counseling department and ask for the ACT Test Coordinator.