The ACT® test is an aptitude test geared toward measuring high school student's education level and likelihood of successfully handling college courses. Originally designed to compete with the SAT® test administered by the college board, the ACT® test is now accepted by many colleges and universities as an acceptable substitute. The test measures aptitude in several basic areas, and, unlike the SAT®, allows students to demonstrate writing capability through an optional essay section.
In the ACT® test, English, reading, scientific and mathematical skills are tested through multiple choice questions. These sections are required and make up the bulk of the final score. Students can opt to take a writing test that results in an additional score, but does not affect the final score. Each section is timed based on the amount of questions and the requirements of the test. For instance, the mathematics section features a 60 minute time block for 60 questions, while the English section allows students only 45 minutes to complete 75 questions.
Unlike the SAT® test, the ACT® test does not subtract points for incorrect answers, which may encourage students to take their best guess at tricky questions. The test covers a variety of basic knowledge considered to be requisite by many universities. Grammar, sentence structure, reading comprehension, algebra, geometry, and scientific reasoning skills are all tested through the four main sections of the ACT® test.
The writing section requires a short essay based on an age-appropriate topic. The essays are read by two professionals, who score the writing on a scale of one to six, where six is the top score. If the scores from each reader vary considerably, a third reader may also score the test to ensure an accurate result. While this portion of the test is optional, some universities may require a writing score. Check with the admissions department at each potential college to determine whether or not the essay portion is mandatory.
ACT® tests are usually offered several times a year and require a fee. There are many preparatory booklets and practice tests available that can give a good indication of score range on the test. Some high schools and community centers may also involve ACT® prep tutoring for struggling or concerned students. This tutoring is often done by a college student with an exceptionally high ACT® test score; be certain to ask for a copy of the tutor's ACT® results before hiring him or her.
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Passing the General Education Development® (GED®) test gives a person the equivalent of a high school diploma. The math test is one of five sections of the exam. To score well on the GED® math test, you need a sound understanding of the concepts tested in each of the four content areas covered in this section.
A live math tutor provides individual instruction in areas of math and quantitative sciences. These professionals provide human interaction for students who need face-to-face guidance, and one-on-one teaching to master difficult math topics. Live math tutors offer specialized study guidance according to a particular student’s needs.
Interdisciplinary mathematics is a field of mathematics that merges math expertise with proficiency in another discipline, usually science, business, medicine or engineering. This contemporary training approach to educating math majors caters to employers who need professionals with strong math skills but who have a broader scope of application than traditional mathematics majors.