The July ACT’s Supply and Demand Problem
What if a college admissions test is scheduled in the summer but no schools are open to offering it?
The College Board made headlines with their announcement of the additional test date in August. This was the first time the SAT had ever been offered during the summer months. It seemed logical to many parents, school counselors, and educational consultants that having students prepare for a college admissions test, away from the overscheduled school year, would be effective. And, despite some initial trepidation about whether students would actually want to put in the time to prep during their “off” months and about the extent to which schools would sign on to offer the test in the summer when their buildings are usually closed, it seems clear that the August SAT worked out well for both The College Board and the students who took it.
Our experience confirms the success of this summer offering. At Summit, nearly half of our fall SAT test-takers (students who prepped with us to take the SAT in either August, October, or November) took the August SAT. The overwhelming majority of those were rising seniors taking advantage of getting one last SAT in before the start of their last year of high school. What’s more, the size of our fall testing cohort nearly doubled from the year prior, as more and more students opted to take the test in August than had ever considered the October or November SAT in the past.
With these kinds of statistics, one would predict that adding a summer ACT would be a good idea as well. But unlike the SAT’s rollout of the August test a year ago, the rollout of this July’s ACT has not gone well. At the beginning of the year, school systems in both California and New York announced that they would not offer the July ACT because ACT was unable to comply with each state’s “Truth in Testing” laws (which require standardized testing companies to release a minimum number of test forms to the public). To comply with these laws, ACT, Inc., which already makes three test forms available each year, would be required to release a fourth (for their part, ACT, Inc. has claimed it is financially unable to do this).
California and New York each carry enormous influence and losing them both is a major blow to the July ACT’s chances. Perhaps even worse, however, is the actual date of the test itself. While July might be a terrific time for many students to take a standardized test, it is decidedly less so for schools, which would need to re-open their doors for just one Saturday in the summer. One can imagine how difficult it would be for schools to be adequately staffed for the test, let alone the significant time and money required to make sure rooms are open, cleaned, and air-conditioned.
The takeaway here is that any students who are interested in taking the July ACT should register for the test immediately, as the lack of available test sites will impact students’ choices as we head into the spring and early summer. It may also make sense for some families to modify their testing plans to avoid the July ACT entirely.
July ACT Test Centers With Seats Available (as of April 19, 2019)
|New England Region||New Jersey|
|BROOKLINE HIGH SCHOOL
|ALLENTOWN HIGH SCHOOL
|FRAMINGHAM HIGH SCHOOL
|ASBURY PARK HIGH SCHOOL
Asbury Park, NJ
|MALDEN HIGH SCHOOL
|ATLANTIC CITY HIGH SCHOOL
Atlantic City, NJ
|NORTH QUINCY HIGH SCHOOL
North Quincy, MA
|HIGHTSTOWN HIGH SCHOOL
|WOBURN HIGH SCHOOL
|LONG BRANCH HIGH SCHOOL
Long Branch, NJ
|MONTCLAIR HIGH SCHOOL
|JAMES HILLHOUSE HIGH SCHOOL
New Haven, CT
|SAYREVILLE WAR MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL
|UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD
West Hartford, CT
|PISCATAWAY HIGH SCHOOL
|ALVIRNE HIGH SCHOOL
|WEST WINDSOR-PLAINSBORO HS NORTH
|MOUNT ANTHONY UNION HIGH SCHOOL
|SOUTH RIVER HIGH SCHOOL
South River, NJ
|CHAMPLAIN VALLEY UNION HIGH SCHOOL
|TOMS RIVER HIGH SCHOOL EAST
Toms River, NJ
|COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF RHODE ISLAND
|LAKELAND REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL
Of course, there is no one testing plan that will work for every student. Families need to carefully consider student’s schedules, well-being, and, yes, test availability before figuring out which tests will be best to prep for. As always, we here at Summit are available to help families come up with customized testing plans that will work for each and every student. Please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-MYTUTOR with questions about the July ACT or any other aspect of the standardized testing process!