Read This if You’re Taking the December ACT!

Well, Magooshers, it’s the holiday season. A lot seems to be happening at once, mainly the unshapening. You don’t know about the unshapening? It’s the phenomenon that occurs between Halloween and New Years when people all over the country lose their shape after eating too much.


Read This if You’re Taking the December ACT! -Magoosh


Besides the perils associated with the unshapening, December also contains the last ACT test date of the year! That’s right, between the food and gifts, there is one last chance to raise your ACT score! So if you’re ready for some holiday-themed ACT advice, let’s get started.

Getting Ready for the December ACT

Back in my day, we got only three days off for Thanksgiving. Today most school districts have extended that break to a full week. If you are one of the lucky students who gets a whole week off, there’s no sense in letting it go to waste. Time to do a little ACT prep!

“Oh, Mr. B,” you implore. “Isn’t Thanksgiving about spending time with family?”

“Yeah, but Thanksgiving’s ONE day. You have EIGHT other days in that week off to study. And no, BLACK FRIDAY doesn’t count as a national holiday.”

Okay, so I know studying during a week off doesn’t seem like a fun idea, but if you follow my advice, you can have a productive week AND still have some time off. 🙂

  • Days 1 & 2: Continue your ACT Study Plan (Seriously, what else are you going to do during your family’s hours long trip to your grandma’s/aunt’s/uncle’s house?)
  • Day 3: Take a full-length practice test.
  • Day 4: Take an hour (or two) to review areas where you still need improvement.

Hey, will you look at that? You still have FOUR days off, not including Thanksgiving! Your study days don’t even have to be back to back, either!

See, that’s not so bad.

Mental Conditioning

Besides studying, the December ACT test date also requires a bit of mental conditioning. Why? Well, consider all the other distractions vying for your attention: holidays, midterms, and for some of you, college applications. More on college applications in a bit.

So here’s my advice, which is certainly not the only advice out there about how to get mentally prepared for test day. Whether it’s deep breathing exercises or going to your ‘happy place,’ you need to shove everything else aside during your date with the ACT. If you can do that, your score will reflect your true abilities.

Score Reports and College Applications

Here’s the rub: If you take the ACT without writing, expect your score within 2-4 weeks. If you took the ACT with writing, expect a longer turnaround for your complete score.

That being said, using your December ACT scores in college applications is tricky business. Will your scores get there on time? The best answer I can give you is ‘hopefully.’ I know that’s not a very ‘hopeful’ answer, but every college is different.

Between now and test day, here’s what you can do to make sure there are no surprises. Email the admissions departments of the colleges where you’re applying ask whether or not they accept December ACT scores. Most colleges will be flexible; they understand that ACT sometimes takes longer to process scores, and that the turnaround date may fall after their application submission deadline. No matter what, in your applications, make sure to include old ACT scores and note that December ACT scores will be on their way ASAP.

Final Thoughts on the December ACT

Well, Magooshers, I wish you the best of luck in your December ACT endeavors. Use these weeks before the test to make sure you’re done preparing for test day…and not done like the turkey sitting on the dining room table.


Read This if You’re Taking the December ACT! -magoosh


Till next time.


  • 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.

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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