Taking the ACT in an Increasingly Digital World


In 2018, the ACT transitioned international students from paper to computer-based tests (CBT), and amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, CBTs have quickly become more and more popular. Now, the launch of the computer-based version of the ACT in the US is fast approaching.

As many Canadian students often make the trip across the border to write a paper test, the imminent launch of CBT in the states makes it more likely Canadian students will write the ACT on the computer. Read on to learn more about how this will affect test-takers and tips for ensuring a smooth transition to the CBT. 

It’s important for students to master the content as well as the format of the ACT. While the content of the computer-based ACT won’t change, familiarity with the new digital format will crucial for each student’s success. 

The CBT introduces students to many digital tools including a highlighter, answer eliminator, answer masker, line reader, and magnifier. These tools allow students to “mark up” the test and focus on key sections. Although students will not be able to annotate directly on the test booklet, as they were able to on the paper test, they’ll be provided with a separate whiteboard for notetaking and rough work during the CBT. Additionally, students will only see one question per page, which will make it more difficult to answer questions out of order or make guesses at the end of a section as time is running out.

All our writing coaches are well-equipped to incorporate CBT strategies into their students’ test prep. Additionally, our ACT workshops, which run throughout the spring, will include sections dealing with CBT strategies.

If you’re prepping for the ACT, contact us to learn more about how our writing coaches can support you, or check out our calendar for more information about upcoming workshops.

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