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Thomas Broderick

ACT Tricks: It’s a (Test) Date!

So we’ve been practicing ACT tricks for a while. Hopefully you’ve learned some valuable insights that you can use on test day. Though there are still a few tricks I want to teach you, I want to take a lesson and talk about the importance of one thing:


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Today’s Lesson: Choosing a Test Date

When I taught ACT test prep in Tennessee, this wasn’t a conversation I had with my students. Every junior in the county had to take the ACT the same Tuesday in March. For them, test day was carved into stone more than a year in advance. As you have a choice in the matter, let’s talk about why choosing a test date long in advance is a really great idea.


Why Choosing an ACT Test Date Matters

Right now if someone asked you when you’re going to take the ACT, you might say, “Oh, when I’m ready.” I’m going to let you in on a little secret: no one ever feels 100% ready to take the ACT. Even the lucky few who score a perfect 36 don’t feel this way.

Choosing an ACT test date means you’re committed. The clock is counting down for real. Though commitment can cause a little stress, it gives you the chance to plan out your study time and focus your energies.

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The Pressure’s On! (But in a good way.)


Other Considerations

As you’re looking over the test dates, be sure to carefully consider each date. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you make the big decision:

  • Will I have enough time to retake the ACT if I don’t do as well as I want to?
  • Will the results come back soon enough so I can send them to colleges or scholarship opportunities?
  • Is there some reason why this test date might not work? (Ex: planned family vacation during a summer test date.)
  • Does this date leave me with enough time for a study plan?

If you’ve answered all these questions to your satisfaction, go ahead and register for the ACT!


After You’ve Committed

I want to offer up one more ACT trick in this lesson. Once you’ve have a date, STICK WITH IT! Though pushing back your test date may not be as bad as leaving your future spouse at the altar or skipping jury duty, it’s a decision that could have negative effects on your score and future plans. Unless it’s an absolute emergency, make sure you show up on ACT test day.

That’s all for now, ACT scholars. Get out there and make a date with the ACT!


About Thomas Broderick

Thomas spent four years teaching high school English, social studies, and ACT preparation in Middle Tennessee. Now living in Northern California, he is excited to share his knowledge and experience with Magoosh's readers. In his spare time Thomas enjoys writing short fiction and hiking in the Sonoma foothills.

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