Information About ASSET Test

It is a testing program run by ACT that helps in placement of students in appropriate postsecondary courses. The scores are used by nearly 400 colleges.
The program comprises of short placement tests that judge your skills in reading, mathematics and writing. Advanced skills in mathematics can also be tested through this test. The test helps to recognize what skills and understanding have been gained by students during their schooling.
Your knowledge and skills are the only assets you have to pursue a career. No matter how good your educational institution is, it is finally the experience that you as a student gain that shall help you pursue a career of your choice. Your performance in school is not sufficient to judge how well you shall perform if you take up a particular course at the postsecondary level. This is because school assessment pertains to the syllabus covered in class and can be subjective. It is affected by your background, your locality, the standard of education in your school etc. Hence, it fails to be an efficient and reliable measure of your capabilities.

How ASSET Helps

This assessment helps you and your school to get a reality check of your capabilities and your further education can be guided accordingly. Your educational planning is assisted by an Educational Planning Form which contains details of your needs and goals with respect to education. This form assists your institution in guiding your future by planning how to fulfill your goals through relevant courses. This safeguards you against any drawbacks in your education that could lead to failure in your career path.

ASSET Test Format

These tests are of 2 types. The Basic Skills Tests are primary and measure your capabilities in writing, reading and numerical calculations. The Advanced Mathematics Tests measure your capabilities in subjects like geometry and algebra related with advanced level mathematics.
  • There are only multiple-choice test items administered.

  • Each test lasts for 25 minutes.

  • The exam is a paper and pencil based exam.

The three Basic Skills Tests are

  1. Writing Skills Test: There are 36 testing items in this test. Grammar, sentence structure, writing style and strategy and punctuation are the main capabilities put to test in this test.

  2. Reading Skills Test: There are 24 testing items administered in this test. You are required to make rational deductions from the information presented in text form. The inferences are to be drawn from the passages.

  3. Numerical Skills Test: There are 32 items in this test. You are required to perform basic numerical operations on whole numbers, fractions and decimals in this test. Prime numbers, absolute values, scientific notation and square roots are other subject areas tested in this test.

There are four Advanced Mathematics Tests. Each of these contains 25 testing items.

  1. Elementary Algebra Test: The items are based on evaluation and simplification of algebraic expressions, finding solutions of linear and quadratic equations and performing operations on polynomials. These topics pertain to first year high school algebra syllabus.

  2. Intermediate Algebra Test: This test contains questions based on second-year high school algebra syllabus. These include factoring, graphs, solutions of linear inequalities, calculations involving slopes and distances.

  3. College Algebra Test: First-year college algebra course is the basis of this test. The topics on which the testing items are based are operations with complex numbers, factorials, exponential functions and graphs of polynomials.

  4. Geometry Test: The testing items pertain to high school geometry syllabus. These include formulas and principles related with triangles, squares, circles and other geometrical figures. 

Registration and Cost
Since it is administered to school students, you shall have to contact your school administration for the registration requirements.
In general, institutions ask you to take one or more ASSET tests for deciding which course you should be admitted to. This happens after you have been granted admission in the school, though there can be some exceptions.
Get in touch with your advisor, counselor or Office of Student Services to get more details on this. The cost of taking the tests also depends on the colleges.

There are no details given officially about the scoring system. Since each college has its own score requirement to be fulfilled according to the different courses, it is best to approach the colleges for understanding what their score demands are. Most colleges publish such information on their websites, thus you can access these websites to understand the requirements for specific courses.
A Writing Skills Test score below 35, a Reading Skills Test score below 29 and a Numerical Skills Test score below 34 shall not be of any consequence. You might have to enroll for a mandatory college preparatory course if you score below the above-mentioned limits. In some cases, colleges tell students to retake some tests. The number of times you can reappear for a test is also determined by the college.

ASSET Preparation

If you have a particular course or profession in mind, you shall definitely take the test seriously. There are some students who do not realize how the test has an impact on their postsecondary studies and how it can change the course of their future. Such students are doomed to failure. It is the wise students who understand its importance and prepare for it timely. Instead of waiting for their colleges to guide them, they reach out to different resources and gather all the information they require. Likewise, they are proactive in preparation as well.

Your first source of reference should be the website This website contains a Student Guide that contains details about the ASSET, its different tests, sample questions for each test for reference and some preparation tips for each test. For a novice, this guide shall certainly prove to be helpful. The website also contains details of the different tests. These details pertain to the test breakup for each subject along with the proportion of testing items based on each classification of the test syllabus.

Besides these resources, you shall require reference materials and sample question papers for comprehensive preparation and practice. Your course books that you must have studied during schooling as well as assessment papers shall prove to be instrumental in preparation. Your teachers, school seniors, career advisors, friends, batch mates and other college students etc. shall be of great assistance as well. 

Some colleges prepare their own preparation guides or tips for assisting students.

There should be no doubt in your mind that preparation is the only key to score high. There is bound to be competition for career oriented subjects in colleges like mathematics. An average score shall certainly dent your chances of getting admission into a course of your choice. On the other hand, an above average score shall open many opportunities to you. You can then choose what you most like and earn the fruit of diligent hard work.

If colleges ask you to take ASSET tests, it shows that they shall give preference to your scores over school assessment criteria. Thus, you can hope to impress college admission authorities with your scores, even if you do not have a very high GPA. No matter what your previous records show, your ASSET scores can put you in a favorable position that can get you admitted to a course of your choice.