• The ACT

    Nationwide, more students take the ACT than the SAT. Locally, more students take the SAT. 

    The ACT is given five times during a typical school year. Shorewood is always a site for the test, though you should sign up early to be sure that you will get Shorewood. 

    Grade of ACT dates



    Register for the ACT online through ACT.org

    Registration will take a while and you will need a photo of yourself to upload. 

    If you qualify for free & reduced lunch, you will be eligible for a fee waiver to help pay for the test. See your counselor or Mrs. Roma. 

    If you are requesting testing accommodations, you must register even earlier than the standard deadline. There is a limit to the number of seats for students with accommodations, so you must register very early to get your requested test date and site. 


    Test Prep 

    Come into the Career Center to check out an official ACT Prep book. These books were donated to us by the EQC, a committee of the Shorewood PTSA. You will check the book out just like a library book and please return it in good condition when you are finished. 


    Subject Areas Tested

    The ACT has four subject areas:  English, Math, Reading, and Science. There is also an optional essay*. Read below to see if you should add on the essay. 

    ACT Test Section Descriptions

    Please note that the Science test is more like a reading test that includes data. Students are not expected to demonstrate scientific knowledge. 



    The ACT is scored on a 1-36 scale. Each section, including the Essay, receives a 1-36 score and students receive a composite score, which is the average of the subject areas. 

    Please remember that scores on college admissions tests are not like scores on school tests. A 30 on the ACT isn't like getting 83% on a test. A 30 is in the 94th percentile nationally. 


    How Colleges Get the Scores

    Shorewood does not send test scores. When students sign up for the ACT, they may request free test reports (up to four) be sent to particular colleges.

    If students wish to see their test scores before sending them, they should take the test early enough to do so. 

    When students apply to colleges, they must have the scores sent via the testing agencies--ACT.org for ACT and CollegeBoard for the SAT--unless they requested the scores when they signed up. 

    Fee waivers can be used if students are on Free & Reduced Lunch. Talk to your counselor. 


    ACT Writing Test, aka ACT Essay

    Fewer and fewer schools require the fee-added essay. As of 7.14.2018, only 19 colleges, which includes 9 UC schools, require the essay, and that number is expected to drop. Consequently, we no longer recommend that all students taking the ACT add on the essay. Only pay for the essay portion if you know that you will be applying to UC schools or you are applying to one of the other schools on this list:  Who Requires the SAT and ACT Essays Princeton Review

ACT-Related Documents

ACT-Related Links