Good news for high school students! No doubt in a play for more market share, there has been some one-upmanship among the two big test companies—the ACT and SAT— and the result is these standardized tests used for college admissions are now offering more convenient dates.
The ACT has long held a September test date. Before 2009 it was not offered in Connecticut, but students could drive to nearby New York to take it and many of my students did just that. We were all happy when ACT added Connecticut to the September exam. That was a great way for seniors to get in one more test sitting and have the scores back in plenty of time for Early Decision or Early Action applications. The SAT’s first test date for the fall had been in October. However, beginning this summer, the SAT will now offer a test date in the last week of August. In this poker game, the ACT “saw” the August date and “raised” a July test date.
The ACT will offer a July test beginning in 2018, adding one extra test date to their schedule, while the SAT will swap the August date for their January SAT.
The ACT is planning to hold their July test on the campuses of two and four year college campuses. For the August SAT, it remains to be seen how many high schools will be able to accommodate testing at their schools.
I am all for students having the choice and convenience of taking these tests in the summer. I would say that a large number of high school students, especially rising seniors, would be thrilled to be able to take the test in the summer– when they are free to prepare for the exam without the added school year studying, projects, tests, sports, and extra-curricular activities.