Registration through Jan. 11, 2013 for upcoming ACT college exam

Registration is now open for the Feb. 9, 2013, administration of the ACT college and career readiness exam.

Students who want to take the exam must register by Jan. 11, 2013.

Students can register online at or by mail. Paper registration forms can be obtained from school counselor offices or by requesting a registration packet from ACT.

The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam. It measures what students have learned in school and what they need to know to be ready for first-year college courses.

The ACT comprises four multiple choice subject tests - English, mathematics, reading and science - and takes about three hours, plus breaks, to complete. An optional essay writing test, which takes an additional 30 minutes, is also available.

Students who want to take the writing portion should register for the ACT Plus Writing.

The cost to take the ACT (with no writing test) is $35. The cost to take the ACT Plus Writing is $50. Fee waivers are available to qualified students who can't afford the registration fee.

Students should apply for a fee waiver through their school counselor's office.

During registration, students may select up to four colleges or universities to receive their score reports at no additional charge.

All four-year colleges and universities across the United States accept ACT scores for admission purposes. ACT sends score reports only when authorized to do so by the student.

Each test taker receives an ACT score report that includes a wide variety of information to assist with course planning, college readiness, career planning and college admissions.

The ACT student website,, offers helpful information, free sample questions and complete practice tests, and inexpensive test prep materials to help students prepare for the exam.