In a recent press release, ACT announced that it will be adding a test date in July, starting with summer 2018. The new date will increase ACT test date options from six to seven. In addition, the July test will be ACT’s first summer date. June and September are currently the closest dates to summer break.
What does a new test date mean for students?
In 2016, College Board announced that its January SAT test date would be replaced by an August test date, starting this year. Reasons for the change included providing students with earlier opportunities to take the SAT before the fall and more time for students to focus on their regular coursework and college applications, rather than test prep.
Now, ACT is following suit, for similar reasons.
Many students prep throughout the year, but every student has unique needs and her own complex schedule.
As an alternative strategy, some students choose to prep during the summer because they have more time and less pressure related to school and academic-year activities. Currently, both SAT and ACT offer June test dates, but June coincides with the end of the school year, when students are busy with final exams and coursework. Now, with the new July ACT, students can have extra time to prepare for a summer test without waiting until September to take the ACT.
The only difference between the current ACT test dates and the July ACT test date is that testing centers will likely be located on two- and four-year college and university campuses. The reason is logical: many high schools across the country are closed or operate with very limited staff during summer months.
Registration for the new July test date will open in early 2018. Once registrations opens, be sure to register as soon as possible! With the ACT growing in popularity, we’ve noticed a surge in students signing up for ACT testing sites and imagine that the new test date will attract plenty of interest.
How soon should you start prepping for a July ACT?
The class of 2019 (current 10th graders) will be the first group of students who will be able to consider the July ACT. These students should start prepping three to four months prior to the test, beginning the process in April or May of junior year.
If you have questions about the July ACT or other test planning concerns, contact us for further advising.