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Preliminary ACT: November 28, 2017

The ACT is an important college-going milestone which students typically sit for starting in the spring of their junior year. On Tuesday, November 28th, all SWHS juniors will be taking a Preliminary ACT test at Southwest. This test will be a full-length, retired ACT test that will provide students with a preliminary ACT score prior to Winter Break. This Preliminary ACT is not an official ACT test and cannot be used for college admissions or scholarship purposes.

With this Preliminary ACT, juniors will:

  • Receive a realistic estimate of ACT score to use for their college search
  • Identify academic strengths and areas of growth
  • Gain experience for what sitting for the official ACT will be like (same conditions in terms of proctoring, testing conditions, timing)
  • Have ample time to review and prepare for the Official ACT test that all juniors will take at Southwest on February 27, 2018.


Do I need to REGISTER for the 11/28 ACT? No, juniors will not need to register for this 11/28 preliminary ACT- all Southwest juniors are pre-registered for this test. Juniors will only need to report to their testing location on 11/28 with the 3 items listed below.

Do I need to PREPARE for the 11/28 ACT? The 11/28 test is meant to serve as a baseline, so please don’t feel the need to prepare beyond reviewing your counselors emails between now and the test day regarding the details for the 11/28 preliminary ACT.  You will want to get a good night’s sleep, eat breakfast, and be to school on time.

o    If you do want to prepare, you can check out practice questions at

What do I need to BRING to school on 11/28? Juniors will need to have:

-a couple of #2 non-mechanical pencils with erasers, 

-a calculator (ACT approved, has a list of prohibited calculators, note that the TI-89 is not allowed), and 

-a student photo ID

WHERE will I take the Preliminary ACT on 11/28?*

  • Junior Last Names A- M: West Gym
  • Junior Last Names N-Z: East Gym

*Juniors with IEPs may test an alternative setting- please connect with your case manager to confirm your location

*Juniors with 504s or who qualify for EL services are testing in the Gyms by last name- this is standard practice for unofficial, practice tests


What will my SCHEDULE be on 11/28?

  • 7:45- 8:05: Arrive to testing location and check in
  • 8:05- 12:40: Take Preliminary ACT
  • 12:40- 1:10: Lunch (coincides with “C Lunch”)
  • 1:15: Junior-ONLY early release for the day



Official 2/27/2018 ACT Information for Class of 2018:

On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, Minneapolis Public School District is providing an official ACT with Writing test for all Juniors during the school day.  This test will be administered at Southwest and will provide students with official ACT test scores that can be submitted to colleges to satisfy admission requirements and any scholarship programs that require an ACT. Additional test information and preparation resources for this official ACT test at Southwest High School will be coming to you in the upcoming months. More information here


General ACT Information

·         website:

·         The ACT is a college admissions test required by most 4-year colleges.  Like the PLAN test, which you may have taken in 10th grade, the ACT is a three-hour multiple choice examination of English, mathematics, reading and science. ACT scores range from 1-36; students will receive scores in each of the 4 subject areas and a composite score which is the average of the students 4 subject area scores. The Writing test is scored from 2-12 and is a separate score from the composite score.

·         ACT scores can also be required for some merit-based scholarships.  Private organizations or college-specific instructional scholarships are often available to students with high ACT scores.

·         We recommend that students take their ACT (or SAT, another college admissions test option) beginning in the late winter/spring of their Junior year. SWHS students typically take the ACT 2-3 times during their Junior year spring and perhaps again in the fall of their Senior year.  ACT tests are offered on select Saturday mornings at a number of local schools (not at Southwest) throughout the year. The ACT website has list of specific Saturday testing dates in 2017-18 and will post 2018-19 dates later this year.  Students will need to register online at about a month ahead of the test date for these official Saturday ACT tests.