The April ACT was cancelled, and the summer tests will go forward only “as CDC and local guidelines allow”. So what should ACT students do now?
First, don’t panic!
For regular admissions, students can take a test all the way through December of senior year. This means they will have 5, possibly 6 (if their school does a test day) opportunities to take the test (there will be administrations in June, July, September, October, and December). For early decision/early action, tests can be taken up through October, so there will be 4, possibly 5 opportunities to take the test. As well, there are hundreds of thousands of students in the same circumstances. Colleges recognize this, and some have said standardized tests will be optional (though notably the most competitive colleges have said the opposite). We think test scores are going to be even more important this coming year, you can find further thoughts here.
The ACT Org has also announced an in-home testing option, to be rolled out in the “late fall / early winter”. The exact timing of this matters a lot for this year’s students, so we’ll be watching closely.
So students will have plenty of opportunities to take a test, and even multiple times if desired. The good news is, they also have plenty of time to prepare for the test and build skills ahead of the fall administrations.
Put a plan together
We strongly recommend all students have a testing plan for when they will take the test, and when and how they will prepare for us. This alone can alleviate a lot of stress and anxiety.
Part of the planning process should be considering which test to take – the SAT or the ACT. All schools take either test equally, as they have found them to be equally predictive. In our area, many parents grew up with the SAT and are more familiar with it, but across the country the two tests are pretty much even in total number of students that take them. How should students determine which test to take? They should 100% take a full-length version of each test. There are various “mini-diagnostics” on the web that purport to tell students which is better in 30 minutes or an hour, but they are woefully poor at actually predicting. They give precise-looking reports that are in actuality little more than guesses. However, students who take a full version of each test have no doubt at all.
After students have made that determination, they should register for a test date as soon as possible. Centers are likely going to be oversubscribed due to the recent cancellations.
Finally, students should put together their plan for how they are going to prep. They could do nothing more than show up on test day (not recommended!), utilize free resources, or get professional expertise (we know a place that’s great!).
If you have questions or need help putting a plan together, feel free to give us a call or drop us an email. There’s no sales pitch and even if you aren’t using our services, we’re happy to share which materials are good and which aren’t – we want every student doing their best on test day.