Deadline to register for ACT advances

COVINGTON - Students wanting to take the next ACT will need to register by Friday.

The next college admission and placement exam will be given at Eastside High School on Dec. 8. The deadline for students to register is Friday; the late registration deadline is Nov. 15.

Catherine Crisp, college and financial aid adviser for Alcovy and Eastside high schools, recommends seniors especially sign up to take this test.

"Seniors should be taking the test now in order to get their scores back for college admission deadlines. Regular admission deadlines run from mid-January up to the first of July," she said. "Students should check the deadline for each college they are planning to apply to."

Results usually are ready three to seven weeks after students take the test, Crisp said.

She advises juniors to start taking the ACT during the second semester of their junior year, so they already will have taken the appropriate courses to prepare them for the test.

The test was given nationally earlier this month and will be given again in February, April and June in various locations around the state.

Students can register for the test online at www.actstudent.org or by a registration form available in their respective schools' counseling offices.

The cost for on-time registration is $30 for a traditional ACT and $44.50 for an ACT Plus Writing exam. Late registration requires an additional fee.

Crisp tells her students to take the writing portion.

"Most colleges require it," she said. "The writing portion consists of an essay and immediately follows the regular portion of the test."

The traditional test includes four sections: English, math, reading and science.

"The ACT is an important test for college admissions," Crisp said. "There is a misconception in the South that colleges prefer the SAT. This is no longer true. Colleges accept the SAT and ACT equally."

She said students applying to "a particularly competitive school" should take both the ACT and the SAT to see which one they do best; they also can take the tests more than once.

"If a student takes the test more than once, colleges will take the best score made on each section during different test administrations to give the student the best possible combination of scores," Crisp said about the ACT. "Students just have to remember to have each score reported to the school they are interested in attending."

She said students must list the school code of each college they want their scores sent to, but students sometimes forget to do this important step.

"Scores are not considered official unless they come directly from the ACT," she said. "The ACT offers four free school code choices with test registration, and more can be purchased."

A school code list is included in the registration materials.

Students can study for both the SAT and ACT under the "Student Planner" tab at www.gacollege411.org, she said.

"Students simply need to create a free account to take advantage of this resource," she said. "Other study guides can be ordered online or purchased at local bookstores, as well."

ACT's Web site, www.actstudent.org, also has study tools, such as sample tests, test preparation materials to order and other information. It also lists future test dates and other testing centers.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.