New ACT Test Options are Coming!

Faster Results:
Choose to test online or on paper at an ACT test center. 

Starting in September 2020, students can choose how they want to take the ACT test®—online or on paper, if their testing center offers both options. Students who test online will get results in as soon as two business days for more opportunities to meet admission and scholarship deadlines.

Stay in the loop about new options coming to the ACT test.

Why Faster Results with Online Testing is Important and How it Promotes Student Success

Giving students a choice allows them to focus on what’s most important: doing their best on the test. Students who take the test online get faster test results, allowing them and the schools and scholarships to which they apply to make better, more informed, and timely decisions.   
A few things to know about Faster Results with Online Testing
  • Online testing takes place only at designated testing centers on desktop computers or other devices provided for them.  
  • ACT has been offering online testing in schools since 2016 and in international test centers since 2018.  
  • We have developed a very rigorous protocol to ensure that our national test centers are set up to deliver the test online. 

Practice taking the Online Test at
ACT Academy

Leaders in Education Discuss New ACT Test Options

Faster Results Help Connect the Test with the Learning Cycle

Watch as Dr. Tony Thacker (Alabama Assistant State Superintendent of Education and head of the Office of Evaluation and Innovation), shares insights on how faster results help connect the ACT test with the learning cycle.  

How Does Taking the ACT Online Reduce Stress for Students?

Watch as Phillip Jacobs (from the Tennessee Department of Education), discusses how taking the ACT online can help reduce stress for students. 

Faster Results with Online Testing FAQs

Advantages of online testing include enhanced test -taker experiences, faster score reporting, and better test security. 

... testing and paper testing?

Since the 1980’s, computer-based testing has been replacing paper-and-pencil testing as the norm for most assessment applications. Numerous and extensive research studies have shown that online testing can be equitable, fair, reliable, valid, and comparable to paper-and-pencil testing in terms of reported scores. 

In 2015, ACT introduced online administrations in State & District testing. Each year since, tens of thousands of students have completed the ACT online with no major technology issues or concerns about scores.

Schools that offer the ACT test through our state and district offering have had the option to offer the ACT test online during the week while school is in session since 2016. National Online Testing is not offered on weekdays. 

Procedures will be provided to test centers to ensure they can support online testing. Learn about becoming a test center. testing?

Training will be part of the readiness procedures that will be provided to test centers.

ACT will release timed and untimed online practice tests so students can experience taking the ACT  in the online format. It is important to note that the online test material is the same as the paper version. As a result, we continue to help students prepare for the ACT in either format. There are test prep options for every type of learner, including:

  • The Official Beginner’s Guide for ACT is a great first step to success on the ACT. Learn the best strategies to prepare, receive online access to a PreACT® Diagnostic test, and access to both a printed and online ACT practice test.

  • The Official ACT Prep Guide 2019-2020 is the most robust guide from the makers of the ACT.

  • ACT® Online Prep is an online tool that offers a personalized learning path and daily goals to help students stay on target and track their progress. 

  • ACT® Rapid Review is an online classroom that provides students with live or on-demand instructions from an expert teacher.

  • Free ACT prep tools include the Preparing for the ACT printable practice test, online subject test practice, and ACT® Academy™, a free online learning tool and test practice program that offers personalized exercises and two full-length practice tests. 

  • Learn about all the ACT Test Prep options.

Starting in July, students will see which centers are offering the ACT test online as they register. The ACT registration system will show them how close the nearest online test center is based on the zip code they enter for their test center location search. they would on paper?

Yes, all students testing online will have a number of tools they can use (including a line reader and highlighter) to help them navigate through the test as they do while testing on paper today.

 ...have access to computers and the internet?

We care about equity, including digital access for all students. Learn more by reading The Digital Divide and Educational Equity. Keep in mind, students are not asked to provide their own device, but will use the desktop computers or devices provided at the ACT test centers. 

Using ACT-supplied servers in a cloud configuration requires test-taking devices, sufficient bandwidth, and a reliable network connection throughout the entire test. Test-taking devices may be either Chromebooks or Windows devices that meet specifications. The outlined requirements must be met to support cloud implementation.

Chromebook Test-Taking Devices

  • Operating System: Chrome OS (must maintain current version or version immediately preceding current version).
  • Management: Must be managed by Google Admin.
  • Security: Must be able to deploy an ACT test-taking application (Unity) in Kiosk mode. Must allow Unity to manage power.
  • Processor: Chromebook with ARM or Intel processor
  • Memory: 2 GB
  • Disk Space: 100 MB available
  • Screen size: Minimum 9.5”
  • Screen resolution: Minimum 1024x768

Windows Test-Taking Devices

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education (must maintain current version or version immediately preceding current version).
  • Management: May be managed devices, but management is not required.
  • Security: Must be able to create an Assigned Access user and deploy an ACT test-taking application (Unity) as an Assigned Access application.
  • Processor: 1 GHz or faster processor
  • Memory: 1 GB
  • Disk Space: 100 MB available
  • Screen size: Minimum 9.5”
  • Screen resolution: Minimum 1024x768


You will need at least 200 kbps of bandwidth per tester. For example:

  • A 10 Mbps connection can support 51 testers.
  • A 50 Mbps connection can support 256 testers.
  • A 100 Mbps connection can support 512 testers.

Network Reliability

Devices must be able to access the and domains. Your network must be consistently available throughout the test event. Small, intermittent outages during the event can be tolerated, but extended outages will impact the ability to test successfully.