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College & Career

Free online ACT prep to launch this spring

Jamie Martines
| Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, 12:18 p.m.

The creators of the ACT, a college admissions exam, plan a free, online test preparation program.

Called ACT Academy, the program is set to launch this spring, according to a statement from ACT Inc.

Materials will be developed by ACT, Khan Academy, NASA and PBS. It will offer video lessons, interactive practice questions, full-length practice tests and educational games.

Subscriptions to online test-preparation programs offered by the tutoring company Kaplan in cooperation with ACT range from about $100 to $250, depending on the length of the subscription and the topics covered.

The Princeton Review, another tutoring company, offers a self-guided, online course for $99. It also offers a teacher-led course that takes place in-person and online for $1,099. Its private tutoring programcosts $3,000.

ACT also offers an online, six-month subscription to a test prep course for $39.95.

Colleges across the country use the ACT as one factor in determining admission. It is offered to 11th- and 12th-grade students and tests their skills in English, math and science. The test costs $46 without the writing component and $62.50 with the optional writing component.

About 2 million high school graduates, or about 64 percent of total graduates, took the ACT in 2016, according to information provided by the company. There were 16 states that required all 11th-grade students to take the ACT during the 2016-17 school year. Pennsylvania was not one of them.

The ACT also will start providing free score reports to low-income students starting in September. Students who take the exam for free with a fee waiver also will be eligible to send their scores to colleges or scholarship agencies at no cost.

About 650,000 students from low-income families received ACT fee waivers in 2016, according to a ACT.

Students are allowed to send their scores to up to four colleges or scholarship agencies for free during the registration process. Each additional score report costs $13.

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at jmartines@tribweb.com, 724-850-2867 or via Twitter @Jamie_Martines.

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