Profiles Online ACT Senior Secondary System ACT Qualifications Colleges ACT Scaling Test FAQ Overseas Educational Equivalence

ACT Scaling Test

The ACT Scaling Test (AST) is a test designed by the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) to facilitate the comparison of T Course scores both within and across colleges. The test measures skills necessary for success at university. The ACT BSSS brochure What's the AST? also provides useful information.

A Student Information Bulletin is available to students through their college in Semester 1 of Year 12. This provides information about administration of the test, including rules and requirements.

Who sits the AST?
All students who are enrolled in Year 12 and who wish to gain an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank must complete all parts of the AST.
Any student enrolled in a T package in Year 12 who is unsure of what they will do after Year 12 should also sit the AST.

What makes up the AST?The AST comprises of three papers;

  1. The Multiple Choice Test (2 hours and fifteen minutes)
    There will be 80 questions grouped into units, each based on a piece of stimulus material. The material is drawn from the humanities, social sciences, sciences and mathematics areas and is accessible to all senior secondary students.
  2. The Short Response Test (1 hour and 45 minutes)
    There will be 19 - 25 questions testing thinking and reasoning. Students will be asked for interpretations, explanations and justification of responses or points of view.
  3. The Writing Task (2 hours and 30 minutes)
    Students will be given stimulus material on a particular topic and are then expected to write a clear argumentative essay of 600 words.

An AST result will be awarded only if you make a serious attempt at all three components of the test.

Preparation for the AST:
Each college runs at least one trial AST with students receiving the appropriate feedback. The trial(s) introduce students to both the procedures for the conduct of the test as well as the nature of the test itself.  Students can also assist in their own preparation by practising the skills required where possible and by being aware of current events and issues, through the print and other media in order to form opinions on these issues.

Sample Questions and Student Information are provided under the 'Publications' tab.

When is the AST held?The AST is held on the first Tuesday/Wednesday of September each year.

Contact with the BSSS AST Officer can be made by email BSSS.Enquiries@act.gov.au