Are You Ready for the February ACT?

student preparing for the act test with a laptop, pen, and paper

The February ACT is just a few weeks away. Keep reading to find out who benefits from taking the February ACT and whether you’re ready for the test.

Who should take the February ACT?

Anyone can take the test, but there are a few groups of students who will see the most benefit from the February ACT test date, including:

  • Waitlisted seniors: If you were waitlisted at your dream school, you might try to boost your test scores with this test date to submit fresh scores for consideration. If you plan to remain on the wait list, don’t forget to inform the school of your continued desire to attend and remember to submit a deposit at a backup college by May 1 to ensure that you have a spot in the fall if you aren’t accepted off the wait list!
  • Seniors applying to schools with late or rolling deadlines: At colleges with regular decision deadlines in March or April or with rolling admission deadlines, you can often still submit February ACT scores. So if you want one last chance to boost your test scores, this is it!
  • Juniors starting the college admission process: This is one of the first test dates recommended for college-bound juniors. This early test date gives juniors a chance to finalize their test scores ahead of time and leaves plenty of future test dates to try to boost scores to reach ACT score goals.
  • Duke TIP/Johns Hopkins CTY Talent Search Applicants: 7th grade students hoping to enroll in Duke TIP or Johns Hopkins CTY summer programs need finalize SAT or ACT scores by the end of February, so if you’re hoping to apply to one of these prestigious programs, now is the time to take the ACT!

Are you ready for the February ACT?

The ACT lets you pick and choose which test dates you wish to report to colleges, so a lot of students see no harm in taking the official ACT just for practice. Sometimes there really is no harm in a practice run, but a lot of colleges (including schools like Yale and Stanford) require that you submit ALL of your test scores, so that practice test date could end up being part of your college applications. For that reason, it’s generally not a great idea to use official tests just for practice.

Look at this checklist to see if you’re ready for the February ACT:

  • Your practice test scores are at or near your goal score range.
    Take more than one practice test to get a good idea of where you’ll likely score on the real ACT. If you’re scoring at or near your ACT goal score, you’re probably ready for the real test. Register for a practice ACT here!
  • At least two of your ACT subject test scores are near the top of your goal score range.
    A lot of college superscore, meaning that they look at the highest section scores from multiple test dates. If you know you can ace two or more sections on the ACT, you might want to go ahead and take the test. You can focus on boosting the other scores on future test dates. Be careful, though – plenty of schools won’t superscore, so you definitely want to make sure that all of your section scores are respectable!
  • You’ve done some ACT test prep.
    It’s rarely a good idea to go into an official ACT test blind. Tests like the ACT require specific skill sets that most students don’t naturally obtain from school. ACT test prep will help you master specific testing skills and strategies to boost your scores, and the extra familiarity with the question types and test format will reduce stress and speed up your test-taking skills. If you feel pretty good about the test, you might just need to brush up on some core skills and take a practice test or two; if you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into, you might need a much longer course of study to really get ready for the ACT. Schedule a consultation with a C2 expert to learn more about how C2 can help you prep for the ACT.
  • You feel confident about taking the test.
    Confidence goes a long way toward testing success. The more confident you feel on test day, the better your scores will be. Build your confidence with thorough ACT test prep and plenty of timed practice tests.