ACT Announces New Format: Say Hello to the Digital ACT!

In the wake of a successful digital SAT roll-out, the ACT will also begin offering a digital exam. Here's what you need to know.

digital ACT

digital ACT


The ACT is now offering a digital version of the ACT in response to growing demand for flexible testing options. For us in the test prep world, this isn’t terribly surprising, given the SAT’s buzzy digital makeover, combined with the fact that the ACT has already been offered digitally for international test-takers since 2018. But it’s still big news, because it affects essentially all college-bound high schoolers! Here’s everything you need to know, along with our recommendations for test-takers.

When is the ACT going digital?

  • The ACT offered a “limited pilot” of a digital exam to 5,000 testers in December 2023. In February and April 2024, the ACT was offered in a digital format at select locations in the United States. This test was identical in content and length to the paper exam.
  • In June 2024, students who signed up to take a digital ACT will be part of another study. They will either take the same full-length digital ACT or a version of the test with fewer questions and a shorter time per section. Students will not know until test day which version they will take.
  • The ACT has said that the paper version of their test is not going away and has stressed that they want to retain students’ ability to choose their preferred testing format.

How is the ACT changing?

In short, we don’t know yet! The ACT has not indicated whether the digital test will be available in all areas in the fall of 2024, and they have not shared whether the shorter test version will be more widely available after June. We will be monitoring closely to learn anything we can about the changes.

Our recommendations for students

In the past, the ACT has struggled with the tech side of things. For that reason, we don’t advise volunteering for the ACT’s digital pilot program, as technical issues are likely! However, we’re very excited that this change essentially signals a future in which the ACT and SAT are taken digitally. Digital exams can improve accessibility and allow students greater autonomy over their testing experience; with our full line-up of digital ACT practice tests, we at Private Prep are well-positioned to support our students no matter what testing format they choose.

Looking for guidance in crafting a test prep timeline or launching your test prep journey? Schedule a free consultation with our test prep experts.

Caroline Hertz