ACT exam online

Taking the ACT Exam Online: What Do Parents Need to Know to Prepare Their Children?

No parent likes this kind of surprise. Their student has been practicing for the ACT on a paper form, doing all they should be doing to prepare for the live version by replicating the real-life experience. Suddenly, the parent discovers that the school-day test will be online. What?!

Some school districts use online versions for their free exams offered to juniors. How can our kids prepare well for this format shift to the ACT exam online? We don’t want you to be blindsided.

Need info on the ACT and SAT? Refer to our ACT and SAT Information page for the latest test dates and important info.

Also, check out our “ACT/SAT/PSAT: Ultimate Family Planning Guide” webinar.

How does it work to take the ACT test online?

First and foremost, the CONTENT is no different. Your kiddo has prepared for this part of the process. The online format does, however, give the test a different feel.

Your student is used to paper tests (booklet, pencil, eraser, scantron form). However, many students have become more and more comfortable with testing online, and SAT went so far as to switch to a completely digital format.

When your student uses the online version of the ACT, they will sit at a computer (mouse, keyboard) and can have the following physical items on hand: their approved calculator, scratch paper (supplied) and a pencil/eraser.

They will view all test content online and answer all questions online. The application they use to take the test is called TestNav and is available in Windows, MacOS, and Chrome platforms. It has useful features like a highlighter, bookmarks, answer eliminator marking, etc. You can learn more about the features in this article.

What should you do?

We recommend that students practice using the online format to increase their confidence and familiarity with the platform. Download the TestNav application.

Parents, take some time to read this for more details about how it works. Once a student navigates the practice test in the new format, he/she will feel so much more confident for what is ahead on their testing day.


Updated 2/2024

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