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The Digital ACT: Everything You Need to Know 

By Cait Williams

Cait Williams is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cait recently graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Journalism and Strategic Communications. During her time at OU, was active in the outdoor recreation community.

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Edited by Maria Geiger

Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Posted: March 14th, 2024
The Digital ACT: Everything You Need to Know 

The digital format of the ACT is a new option for students taking the ACT in Spring of 2024. This test format is still new, so some changes might be made as the digital format of the test develops and feedback from students can come in. But for now, let’s talk about the changes they’ve already made and how those will affect your test taking experience! Let’s go! 

Registering for the online ACT

Registering for an ACT test date will be largely the same. The only difference now is that students will have the option to select if they’d like to complete an online test or a paper test. If students choose to take an online test, they will need to register to do so at a nearby testing center. Students are not permitted to use their own computers, so you must use one that is provided to you. 

Don’t miss: Guaranteed scholarships based on ACT/SAT 

What’s staying the same

Thankfully for students, much about the ACT is going to stay the same. So, instead of talking about what’s new, let’s review what will be the same! 

  • Time: Students will still have the same amount of time to complete the ACT, whether online or on paper
  • Subjects: The ACT will still test students on the same range of subjects
  • Score: Score reports will not be available any sooner through the digital format, students will still receive scores through their ACT accounts and can use superscores at schools that accept them
  • Cost: Whether you sign up for the paper or digital format, the ACT will cost the same, which means that fee waivers will also apply to either format of the test

Preparing for the digital ACT 

Preparing for the digital ACT won’t be much different than how you would prepare for the paper ACT. The only difference is that you may want to add some digital practice tests to the mix to prepare for the digital format. The ACT offers some free practice tests online, as well as a tutorial video to help acquaint you with all the functions of the ACT digital format. There are tons of other free resources out there as well to help you prepare!

Continue reading: Average ACT score by state

Should you take the ACT on paper or digitally? 

Now that both versions of the ACT are available, you might be unsure of what version of the test to take. Our best advice would be to take some time to complete practice tests that are both online and digital. From there you can assess what version you like better. While it does cost time and money to take the ACT, you should also keep in mind that you can take the ACT more than once, which means you can try both formats and use whichever score is best.

Admission ticket policy

The admission ticket policy for the ACT is staying the same. Students will still need to bring a printed copy of their admission ticket to the test. While other forms of proper identification can be used to take the test, the admission ticket is the simplest way to identify yourself on test day.  

Also read: Should you send your ACT scores?

ACT testing accommodations 

Accommodations are available for students to take either version of the ACT. Students can request accommodations when they register. After you’re done registering, you and someone at your school or the test center will communicate with the ACT about ensuring that these accommodations are put in place.

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

  • The digital ACT is a new way to take the ACT opening in February of 2024 for students
  • Not much about the test is changing, which means what you’re tested on, how the test is structured, time allotted, and cost will all remain the same 
  • Students will still need to bring either their admission ticket to the test or another form of proper identification 
  • Accommodations are available for both formats of the ACT test and can be requested when students register for the exam
Key Takeaways

Frequently asked questions about the digital ACT test

Will the paper ACT still be an option?

Yes, the paper ACT will still be an option for students. When you register for the exam, you will choose what format of the exam you would like to take. The digital exam became available for the first time in February of 2024.

Can I bring a calculator to the digital ACT?

Yes, whether you are taking the digital or written format of the ACT, you can still bring an approved calculator to the ACT. A built in calculator is available in the digital format for the ACT, but for students who would prefer to bring their own calculator, that is acceptable. This is a portion of the test that is certainly subject to change as the digital format of the exam develops.

Can you switch from the paper format to the digital format of the ACT if you are already registered?

Yes, you will be able to change which format you would like to take until the late registration deadline. Switching formats will come with a fee, so it’s best to be confident in your choice when you originally register. Students will not be able to switch the format on the day of the test.

Can you use your own computer to take the ACT?

Unfortunately, students cannot use their own personal device to take the ACT, nor can they take the ACT at home. In order to take the digital version of the exam students must use an approved device and complete the exam at an authorized location. 

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