Adult Learners
Going Back to College
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Going Back to College

More and more adults are choosing to attend college, either as first-time students or as returning students completing a degree begun earlier in life.

ACT offers a variety of useful resources for adult students, such as:

The ACT® Test

If you're going back to college, taking the ACT may be an important step in the process. The information this entrance exam provides will help your college decide how to give you the best chance to succeed.

  • If you took the ACT in the past, your scores may still be available. Check with the admission office at your college to see whether those scores will still be accepted.
  • Consider also whether it would be to your benefit to take the exam again. Many colleges use the ACT as a measure of what you already know and, therefore, what courses you are ready to take. A test score from when you were 17 years old may or may not give them an accurate picture of what you know now. For more information, see these Frequently Asked Questions.


At many colleges—including many community colleges and other schools that serve large numbers of adult learners—you may be asked to take an entrance assessment like COMPASS/ESL.

Computer-adaptive and computer-delivered, COMPASS/ESL helps your college make informed advising and placement decisions, so that you start at the appropriate level.