In 2018, ACT offered the test in July for the first time. While it’s not the best fit for every student*, many can benefit from this summer date. Here are four reasons we think it’s a good idea for some students!
For rising seniors who have already taken the test but want to try again to reach (or surpass) their goal score, it’s great to get another go before the school year starts. Finishing ACT testing over the summer frees up time to concentrate on their college applications and essays – and enjoy their last year of high school!
For those who haven’t yet taken the test, the July date gives them a little more breathing room. We see a lot of seniors put all of their efforts toward the September test, and then panic when they don’t meet their goal score. The additional summer date will take some of the pressure off.
Students who will be exceptionally busy once school starts may prefer to take the ACT earlier. Then they can put their energy toward their GPA and extracurriculars during the school year.
For students considering this option, taking a pre-test in May of sophomore year is important for a couple of reasons. First, students set on taking the July test need to start preparing in the early spring, and the pre-test will help them focus their practice. Second, sometimes the pre-test will show a need for more intense skill-building in reading or math. If this is the case, students should use the summer to build up a strong foundation of skills rather than taking the test too early.
The June test is tough because it comes at the tail end of the school year, right around finals, when students aren’t in the ideal headspace to do their best work. Waiting until July gives them time to take a break, refresh, and fit in some more prep if needed.
Away from the demands of the school year, students can truly focus on test prep. We know that scores jump when students meet regularly with a tutor, complete independent work between sessions, and take practice tests. When that prep isn’t competing for time with school-related work, students are able to really dig in and make connections.
Not sure if the July date makes sense for you? Give us a call, and we’ll help you decide!
*The July date will not be offered in California and New York.