Is the ACT Going Digital?

act sat test-optional Mar 02, 2024

I’ve been getting questions from parents and students about the possibility of the ACT going digital, following the SAT’s recent transition. The ACT has been available only as a digital test for international students (anyone outside the US) for several years. Recently, there is an option in certain centers to take a digital ACT, but (for now) the US-based ACT is primarily a paper based exam.


The computer based ACT and the paper based ACT are the same outside of the format. They have the same number of questions, the same timing, and the same scoring. Both formats will be accepted and given equal weight by colleges. 


Should you take the digital ACT if it is available in your area? It really depends on what you feel most comfortable with. My recommendation is to take both versions of the test and see which one you felt better with. The ACT has sample tests in both the digital and paper format on their website and in their official prep guide.


Will the ACT eventually move to a digital-only format for US based students? Right now, the official answer is no. The ACT states that it plans to allow a choice in testing format. Whether they will eventually go fully digital remains to be seen, but my guess is that they will eventually follow the lead of most of the other admissions tests (SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT) and become a fully computer based test in the future.

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