Interesting Facts About The ACT

Sharp pencil head closeup on red background.

Flickr user Vince O’Sullivan

Sometimes, it’s good to take a step back from studying for the ACT and looking at some interesting facts associated with this college entrance exam.

Faker Test-Takers

When the ACT was first introduced, the admission tickets did not have the students’ photographs on them. Photographs on ACT admission tickets were made mandatory after a cheating incident in 2011, when several students hired ‘test-takers’ with fake IDs to answer the test for them. Uploading a photograph before taking the test prevents this from happening.

Friendly reminder: cheating on the ACT is considered a crime. Students who are caught cheating can be charged and even jailed.


The ACT was introduced in 1959. At that time, it was only required in two states—Illinois and Colorado. Today, 16 states require it.

Equal Footing

Most colleges have over the years accepted that the ACT is on par with the SAT as a college admission test. The last college to do so was Harvey Mudd. Applicants to this engineering college could not submit their ACT scores for consideration till 2007.

Popularity Contest

Statistics on the popularity of these two tests showed an unexpected trend—in recent years, the ACT has actually become more popular than the SAT. In the year 2014, 1.67 million students took the SAT compared to the 1.87 that took the ACT.

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