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New Salem - February 23, 2005

Counselorís Corner
Dr. Gaylynn Becker
National Certified Career Counselor
New Salem & Hebron High Schools

Should Students Take The ACT Writing Test?
Yes, current high school juniors and younger students planning on attending a college or university in North Dakota should take both the ACT and the ACT Writing Test. Beginning in the fall of 2006, students enrolling in a public North Dakota College or University will be required to take both the ACT and the ACT Writing Assessment. The North Dakota University System made this decision last week. Exceptions from this admission policy are:
1. Students age 25 or older on the first day of class
2. Students from foreign countries other than Canada
3. Students transferring 24 or more semester credits acceptable at the receiving campus
4. Students granted exemptions under established campus procedures
5. Students not otherwise exempt who have not taken the ACT or SAT but are permitted under established procedures to enroll and substitute the ACT Compass or the College Board Accuplacer, provided that campuses systematically share results of these tests with North Dakota high schools.

If you or your son or daughter is planning to enroll in a North Dakota college or university in the fall of 2006 or later, I recommend they register for the ACT Writing Test when taking the ACT. Many students take the ACT more than once.

If your son or daughter is planning on attending higher education outside of North Dakota, be sure to check with that college or university as to what their college entrance requirements are.
Here is the remainder of the 2004-2005 ACT testing schedule in North Dakota.
Regular Registration Late Registration
Test Date Postmark Deadline Postmark Deadline
April 9, 2005 March 4, 2005 March 18, 2005
June 11, 2005 May 6, 2005 May 20, 2005
Regular registration deadline cost for taking the ACT is $ 28. If a student is also taking the Writing Test there is an additional charge of $ 14. for a total cost of $ 42. For those registering after the regular registration deadline there is an additional late fee of $ 17. for a total fee of $ 59. Register early to avoid paying the additional $ 17.
I have ACT Registration Packets in my office. Registration can also be done online at .

Why should a high school junior take the ACT?
I strongly recommend all juniors who are planning on attending college to take the ACT during their junior year. This provides the student with an ACT score for admission to college as well as admission to specific programs within many colleges. North Dakota Colleges will take North Dakota students if they meet entrance requirements. However, some of the programs within the colleges require a minimum ACT score prior to admission of the student to a particular program within the college. Some of these programs within the colleges fill early in the year. If a senior does not have an ACT score early in the school year, the program may be full prior to the student being able to take the ACT in the fall of their senior year and getting an ACT score to the college.

Students will have an ACT score for those scholarships that have fall deadlines and require an ACT score. For students who wait to take the ACT until the fall of their senior year, the earliest the ACT can be taken is October with results not being available until early December. In addition, FFA National Convention, football, and volleyball playoffs are often held on this October test date.

Finally to compete for the North Dakota Scholars Program scholarship competition, students must have taken the ACT during their junior year. This scholarship competition provides 4-year tuition free scholarships to the 25 students with the highest ACT scores. These scholarships are funded by the North Dakota University System and are valid at any North Dakota public college or university. However, the ACT must have been taken during the studentís junior year.

For more information on career information and links, please see my Career Planning website at If you have any questions on career, counseling, or assessment topics, you can e-mail me at You can also contact me at New Salem High School at 843-7610, at Hebron High School at 878-4442, or at my residence at 222-3222.

Have an excellent academic day!