As part of college preparation, you'll typically be asked to take the standardized test required by the schools to which you plan to apply. The vast majority of colleges accept the SAT, and some colleges also accept the ACT. But if you enroll in a community college to pursue, you may be required to take the ACT Compass test to register for classes.


High school students typically take this standardized aptitude test during their senior year to gain admission to four-year colleges and universities. ACT tests assess how much you learned in high school English, math, science and reading. You also can take ACT's writing test, which some students do to bolster their college applications. Competitive colleges use your ACT scores to gauge whether you qualify for admission. If accepted, you're permitted to register for freshman-level courses with no additional testing.

ACT Compass

Unlike four-year colleges and universities that require standardized test scores for admissions, two-year colleges usually don't require them. You just fill out the required paperwork to enroll. But, these same two-year schools often use ACT Compass tests to gauge your English and math skills; English language learners may be required to take Compass' English as a second language test to register for some classes. Typically, you take the Compass test in the campus testing center before the start of the semester. Your score determines the level of English and math classes in which you can enroll. With high Compass scores, you may place out of freshman English and math. With low scores, you may be required to take remedial classes to catch up.

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