student hand filling out the answer sheet for the act

Should you take the April ACT?

Although anyone who hasn’t yet finalized their ACT scores can take the ACT this April, there are a few groups of students who should seriously consider this test date.

First Time Test-Takers

The April ACT offers a good opportunity for first-time ACT test-takers to dip their toes in the ACT waters. There are several benefits to taking your first ACT in April:

  • You’ll get your score report in time for summer test prep. Test prep is more effective when it’s informed by a diagnostic test, and a score report from the April ACT offers an accurate assessment of where you currently stand in terms of ACT prep.
  • Juniors will have already covered most of the material on the test. Depending on your math class options, there might be one or two advanced math concepts that you haven’t yet seen, but by April of junior year, you should have been exposed to the vast majority of the material on the test.
  • You’ll get testing out of the way before finals. If you plan to get your first ACT sitting out of the way in time for summer test prep, you only have two options left this year—April or June. If you wait until June, you’ll have less time during the summer to prep and you’ll be sitting for the ACT right around the time you’re focusing all of your energy (hopefully) on acing your final exams.

Students Hoping to Finalize Scores Before Summer

If you’ve got a busy summer planned, you might want to try to finalize your ACT scores before summer break—especially if you’re a junior who will need those final scores to apply to college in the fall. Once you’ve finalized your ACT scores, you’ll be free to focus on drafting your college application essays, enjoying a campus-based summer program, studying abroad, or otherwise putting your summer break to good use.

Test Prep Tips for the April ACT

If you’ve decided to take the April ACT, here are some tips to get ready!

  • Don’t miss the registration deadline! For the 2019 April test, regular registration ends on March 8, and late registration ends on March 25.
  • Make a plan and stick to it. Create a realistic study schedule and decide which topics you’ll address each day. By the time the test comes around, your efforts will pay off!
  • Experiment with time management strategies. Good time management on the ACT is one of the biggest keys to success. Try out a few different strategies on some timed practice sections to find out which ones work best for you.
  • Take practice tests. Maximize their impact on your scores by reviewing each test carefully, making sure that you understand why you missed incorrect questions. Don’t ignore the questions you got right: make sure you know why you got them right and that they weren’t just lucky guesses.
  • Tackle testing anxiety head-on. Testing anxiety can seriously hurt your ACT scores. Develop techniques for coping on test day.

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