Can I wait until senior year to take the ACT?
I’m a junior now and I’m a bit stressed with my course load (mostly honors classes, 1 AP). I’m already not sleeping a lot and I think adding studying for the ACT to my schedule is going to be really tough. I’m not a great test taker to be honest, so I’m really dreading this. I feel really behind and I haven’t started studying at all.
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First of all, your mental health is really important! Make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Might sound a little silly but make sure you’re drinking enough water. Remember what Gandhi once said -- “Hydrate or diedrate.”
Anyway, it sounds like you’re pretty stressed, but lemme see if I can help.
You can absolutely wait until your senior year to take the ACT. You’re probably seeing your classmates take the ACT right now during junior year which might make you think you’re “behind” if you wait to take it, but that’s definitely not true. Colleges don’t care when you take it as long as you take it before January of your senior year. To be clear, getting your ACTs done in early junior year doesn’t confer any admissions advantage whatsoever.
If you wait until Senior Year, you’ll have 4 chances to take it -- July, September, October, and December. This means you’ll have plenty of time to study this summer, when hopefully things are less stressful.
Now, if you do have time for it, I would recommend setting aside at least some time (3ish hours) during 1 weekend to take a practice ACT (you can Google to find some free ones). This will give you an idea of your initial score so that you can gauge how much you need to improve for your dream score. You might discover you don’t really have to prep that much at all, which will reduce your stress levels. And if you do still have to prep, then, well, you have all of summer to get that score up!
You can take it this summer! You can start studying right after finals and take it July, and then try to improve. I would say though if it is at all possible try to take a practice ACT during this school year to get a sense of how much you need to study. If you're looking for 1-2 points, then a month of studying should be fine, but if it's 3+ then you're going to need to study a lot more and should get a head start.
study smart not so hard work
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