Kate Sundquist 4 min read ACT Info and Tips, Standardized Tests

2019 ACT Test Dates and Deadlines

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For high school students with their sights set on college, one of the most critical pieces of their application will almost certainly be their standardized test scores. Most college still require that students submit either SAT or ACT scores to be considered with their applications. If your teen is gearing up for one of these important tests, you’ll want to know just what to expect and when to expect it.

 

In this post, we turn our attention to the ACT. We’ll outline what exactly the ACT is, when students should take it, and what the upcoming test dates and registration deadlines are. To round it out, we’ll offer some of our top ACT tips. If you’re the parent of a teen bound for the ACT, don’t miss this important info.

 

What Is the ACT?

 

The ACT is a standardized test designed for high school students. It aims to measure what students have learned throughout their high school coursework.

 

The ACT is generally used for one of two purposes. First, some states require students to take the ACT as a graduation requirement. This is most commonly practiced in the midwest, but it is true elsewhere as well.

 

Second, the ACT can a be a critical piece of your teen’s college application. Many admissions committees will consider it an indicator of a student’s ability to tackle college level work. Your teen should do his or her best to perform as well as possible if he or she wants to get into a selective college.

 

When Should You Take the ACT?

 

While your teen can take the ACT as early as he or she may like, we at CollegeVine recommend that students take their standardized tests no more than three or four times. It makes sense to restrict these test administrations to as late as possible, without being rushed, so that your teen can maximize class time and study time before the test.

 

We recommend that your teen takes his or her first ACT test during spring of 11th grade. The ACT is usually offered in April, so this is commonly the first test administration that many students take. Then, your teen can test again in June, use the summer to study, and take a final ACT in September and/or October, as needed.

 

What are the 2019 ACT Dates and Deadlines?

 

ACT Test Date Registration Deadline Registration with Late Fee
April 13, 2019 March 8, 2019 March 9-25, 2019
June 8, 2019 May 3, 2019 May 4-20, 2019
July 13, 2019* June 14, 2019 June 15-24, 2019
September 14, 2019 TBD TBD
October 26, 2019 TBD TBD
December 14, 2019 TBD TBD

*No testing centers will be available in California or New York for the July test date.

 

Students who need a non-Saturday test date for religious or other reasons should see the ACT’s Non-Saturday Testing page for details about how to arrange this.  

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ACT Tips and Strategies

 

1. Know What to Expect

 

Before a student takes the ACT, he or she should have completed enough practice tests and test prep that he or she knows exactly what to expect on the test itself. This means knowing important details such as the order of the test sections, the directions for each section of the test, and how to pace him or herself on each section. You and your teen can find important details about each section in our ACT section guides:

 

 

2. Anticipate Common Errors

 

Standardized tests like the ACT are designed to trip up students and there are a few specific ways that it achieves this. Students should pay attention to details like pronoun agreement and homophones on the English section and memorizing all the formulas needed for the Math section. For more information about mistakes to avoid, check out our posts Four Common Mistakes to Avoid on Your English ACT and Five ACT Math Mistakes to Avoid.

 

3. Pacing is Everything

 

One of the primary differences between the SAT and the ACT is the pace of the test. The ACT is notoriously known as a fast-paced test allowing very little time for each question. Successful test-takers learn test pacing by taking lots of practice tests and paying close attention to the clock. Going into the test knowing exactly how much time to allot for each question and checking the clock around the halfway point will be important factors in your teen’s success.

 

4. Use Score Reports to Improve Test Performance

 

The Score Report your teen receives after taking the ACT contains a ton of useful information. Many students anxiously check their section and composite scores but don’t pay close attention to specific score breakdowns. This is a missed opportunity because score breakdowns reveal areas in need of improvement that can be targeted in future test prep. To learn more about the ACT score report, check out our Complete Guide to Your ACT Score Report.

 

Finally, if your teen is preparing for standardized tests and you feel that he or she may need some extra help, don’t be afraid to seek out a professional. Remember, standardized tests require very specific skills and knowledge. Even students who do well in school sometimes struggle with their format, pacing, or even test anxiety.

 

For more help along the way, consider the benefits of CollegeVine’s full service, customized SAT Tutoring Program, where the brightest and most qualified tutors in the industry guide students to an average score increase of 250 points.

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Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.