Unfortunately, this weekend was a nightmare for many prospective college applicants. And not for the reasons that would probably jump to your mind immediately that may relate to the pandemic or the widespread civil unrest. Nope. This nightmare was strictly due to the ACT’s bungled administration of a test this past weekend.
The ACT had to cancel the test at many of its centers at the last minute and they failed to notify test takers in advance. As a result, the students showed up at the centers to find taped signs in the windows explaining the test was canceled and an apology that the ACT failed to notify them in advance.
In a world where airlines have had the ability for quite some time to text and email passengers about the slightest changes to their itineraries, we’re stumped as to why the ACT wasn’t prepared for such a contingency. A contingency that was much more foreseeable given the many, rapid oscillations in COVID-19 policies.
As we’ve previously stated, we are not currently recommending the ACT test for most applicants. For starters, most colleges have made the SAT and ACT tests optional for the Class of 2025. We believe that most of those few schools that have not already announced such a test-optional policy will do so shortly. (Failing to do so could cause them to see a very significant drop in applications.)
Additionally, there has been mounting political pressure to eliminate all standardized tests for college admission. Based on some off-the-record conversations we have had with different admissions officers, we’re not sure how adamant many of the schools that announced one-year test-optional policies are going to be about restoring the standardized testing requirements.
Finally, if you are not in the Class of 2025, there should be no rush to take the ACT. In fact, we hardly ever recommend anyone take the SAT or ACT before winter of their junior years.