Tag Archives: ACT test

Free ACT / SAT Diagnostic Test Day

See if you are ACT- or SAT-ready with Insight!


One day ONLY! Join us at our Cupertino Office on MLK Day for a FREE ACT or SAT diagnostic exam with Insight and get a detailed score report. 


Date: Monday, January 16th, 2023.
Time: 8:45am Check-in for a 9:00am exam start time.
Location: Insight Cupertino Center (1601 S. De Anza Blvd, STE 108, Cupertino, CA 95014).

Seats are limited! Hurry and sign up today!

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The 2022-2023 ACT Registration is now open! What now?

For those who check the ACT website often, you’ve probably noticed that the ACT registration is now open for September 2022-July 2023 test dates! Here is a quick guide on when the ACT tests are happening, the deadlines for signing up, and what you should do (depending on your graduation year).

Taking the SAT instead? Check out 2022-2023 SAT registration is opened! Now what?

Not sure which test to take? See our advice on ACT vs. SAT: Which Test Should You Take?

2022-2023 ACT Test Dates

According to ACT.org, the 2022-2023 ACT exam dates and deadlines are shown below. You can register for all of these dates now.


ACT Test Date Registration Deadline Last Day for Late Registrations & Changes (extra fees apply)
September 10, 2022 August 5, 2022 August 19, 2022
October 22, 2022 September 16, 2022 September 30, 2022
December 10, 2022 November 4, 2022 November 11, 2022
February 11, 2023 January 6, 2023 January 20, 2023
April 15, 2023 March 10, 2023 March 24, 2023
June 10, 2023 May 5, 2023 May 19, 2023
July 15, 2023 June 16, 2023 June 23, 2023


Insight Advice for Rising Seniors (Class of 2023)


If you haven’t been able to take the SAT or the ACT at all, you are not alone. Many schools have extended their test-optional policy to the Class of 2023, and you can find out what your top-choice college decides to do in our Test-Optional Colleges HERE. If you are planning to take the ACT, you should start preparing now. Learn how to maximize your score during the summer with our guide on How to Prepare for the ACT or the SAT this Summer.


For Class of 2023 who want to apply for Early Action or Early Decision, you need to take your ACT by October 22, 2022. If you are applying for Regular Decision, you should take your ACT by December 10, 2022.


Want a strategic, proven way to boost your ACT score? Click here to see our ACT classes!
Taking the SAT instead? Check out our popular SAT classes!


Insight Advice for Rising Juniors (Class of 2024)


Typically, we see juniors take their ACTs in the summer (June or July) and in the spring (usually after a spring break study crunch). If you already have a score you are happy with, congratulations, you can focus on expanding your extracurricular activities, AP courses, and schoolwork.


By preparing for the ACT early, you are giving yourself time to get a head start on your college admissions process next year. This can significantly lower your stress level (and tasks) for your summer after junior year!


Just starting your SAT preparation? Our SAT Advantage Classes are designed to give you comprehensive topic review as well as test-taking strategies.

Read more: Why Summer Study Can Be A Great Thing!


Insight Advice for Rising Sophomores (Class of 2025)


It may seem too early for you to even think about the SAT or the ACT. But it’s not! While these standardized tests are designed to challenge your English and Math abilities, their structures, formats, and timing are very different.


If you have already taken Algebra 2, which covers polynomials, trigonometry, and exponentials, you can start considering your test prep strategy! The best way to decide if you should take the SAT or the ACT is to take diagnostic tests for both. Taking both diagnostic tests can help you decide which test you are more comfortable with. You may like the SAT better because it allows for more time per question, or you may be an ACT person if you prefer to always have access to a calculator. Once you’ve figured out your style, you can focus on preparing for that!


Want to schedule your ACT and SAT diagnostic tests? We simulate the real testing environment to help you know how you will perform on the big day. Email us ( info@insight-education.net ) today or CONTACT US to find out more!

How to Prepare for the ACT or the SAT This Summer

It’s the beginning of summer! And for many of you, you just finished a tough school year and conquered some AP exams. The last thing on your mind is preparing for another test. You may think, “It’s okay. Many schools are extending their test-optional policies.” But the reality is many admissions offices are overwhelmed by the number of applications flooding in. In this article, Team Insight will answer 4 common questions to guide you through a quick evaluation to see if the SAT or the ACT will help strengthen your college applications!


When should I start preparing for the ACT/SAT?


Typically, the best time to start your SAT / ACT test prep is the summer before your junior year. In other words, if you just finished 10th grade, you should consider spending part of your summer on the ACT / SAT test prep.

How to Strategize Your SAT or ACT Test Prep Plan this Summer

From Insight’s 22 years of college admissions experience, we know that our juniors usually have more challenging course work and are more involved in their extracurricular activities during their school years. The summer before junior year gives you the flexibility and the time to focus on test prep. Furthermore, preparing for the ACT / SAT helps you build the stamina and study habits to handle the junior year course load. During test prep, you also strengthen crucial skills, such as time management, problem-solving, and analytical thinking. All these skills can help you handle the more challenging academic work in your junior and senior years.


Need help boosting your SAT scores? Check out our SAT summer programs here.


If you just finished your junior year (rising senior) and last year derailed you from taking or preparing for the SAT/ACT, do not freak out. You are not behind. You still have time to study for these standardized tests over the summer. Yes, you may need to balance the ACT / SAT test prep with your summer program and activities. But it is not impossible to achieve.


Taking the ACT instead? We got you covered, too, with our ACT summer boot camps.


Why should I bother with test prep now if my ACT/SAT is in the fall?


It’s a tricky scenario: a 4-hour test, targeting knowledge you’ve already learned in 8th-10th grade. It’s June and you’ve just finished school. The test date isn’t until August or September. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?


For at least a century, researchers have debated the impact of “summer learning loss.” According to a recent study, the average student lost 17-34% of the prior year’s learning gains during one summer break. In other words, you probably don’t remember everything you’ve learned in 8th grade as vividly as your previous semester.


Get SAT Ready over the Summer with Insight

You may need to devote some time reviewing a couple of years of math and English. What’s the big deal? The challenging component of the ACT/SAT is time management. On the ACT, you have 36-60 seconds per question (depending on the section of the test), whereas you have 47-86 seconds per question on the SAT. During the time frame, you have to break down the question, recall what you’ve learned, and deduce the best answer. How can you achieve that? Like a pro-athlete, it comes down to practice, practice, and practice.


Read more: Do you need to take both the ACT and the SAT?


A strategic method to prepare for the SAT/ACT involves reviewing concepts, going through different exercises, taking full-length practice tests, and improving weak points. None of these can be accomplished in one day or even one week. It takes discipline, grit, and endurance. (And can you think of other things in your life that also take those three qualities?)


How can I build a successful test prep or study plan?


Just like any project in your life, big or small, if you want to complete the project, you need a plan. Build your test plan with a solid timeline and realistic goals. Ask a friend or a family member to check in on your progress and keep you honest. Include methods to evaluate your knowledge and your progress. In this case, you can take a practice test every day and a quiz after every review session. When you take the ACT or SAT practice test, you want to simulate the real test environment as much as possible. That means no music and no texting. Wear a mask and time yourself.


Read more: Studying in a group is scientifically awesome.


If you want to submit SAT/ACT scores to colleges, here are some first steps towards making a solid study plan:


  1. Take a full-length previously administered SAT or ACT exam, under realistic conditions – a quiet space, each section timed, wear a mask
  2. Figure out which aspects or sections are giving you the most challenge – timing, multiple-choice format, language arts, math, etc.
  3. Make a plan to address how you want to improve your score based on how you are doing on the practice questions


How to Prepare for the SAT or the ACT over the SummerAfter each practice test, remember to learn from your mistakes. Go over your SAT or ACT practice test again. Check your mistakes. Work on those questions again. Be sure to figure out if you need to adjust your goals. You may need to work on your geometry or do more word problem drills. Or you may simply need to improve your speed. Much like sports, athletes devote practice sessions to work on their pitching stance or landing a quadruple jump. After every test review, you need to be honest with yourself and work through the tough parts.


Psst! Insight ACT / SAT Boot Camps offer daily diagnostic test to keep track of your progress. After the test, our expert instructors lead you through detailed test review sessions to help you learn from your mistakes. Check out our ACT boot camp schedule or the SAT boot camps.


Who benefits from preparing and taking the ACT/SAT?


Ultimately, you are studying to enrich yourself. Don’t look at standardized testing as just another assignment. The SAT and the ACT are designed to evaluate your academic college readiness – your ability to combine years of language arts and math knowledge, recall the concepts, and apply them accurately in a given time frame.

Best Ways to Study For Your ACT or SAT over the Summer

From the college admissions standpoint, having a strong test score may help your admissions chance even for test-optional colleges. Recent data has shown a higher chance of acceptance rate for those who submitted test scores than those who did not submit. Many scholarships and funding opportunities may also require test scores. More importantly, you want to provide as many, if not more, positive data relative to your peers.


Remember that your test score is just one piece of the puzzle. And as you work on each aspect of your academic profile, you are helping admissions officers understand you better. Have compassion for those in the colleges and universities to which you are applying! Let your test score support and verify the trustworthiness of your transcript – your hard-won grades.



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Insight counselor Jenny H shared her lessons learned from preparing for ACT tests

Standardized Testing: A Reflection

I feel like there are certain activities that will always make me a little—okay, very—nervous.  These include riding a roller coaster, watching a horror movie, and lastly, taking standardized tests!


Standardized testing was not my forte, and I felt like this was the most daunting aspect of the college admission process in high school.  For those of you who feel the same way and/or are in the midst of studying for the SAT / ACT test, I am motivated to write this blog post to reflect on my experience. In doing so, I hope that you will gain some insight into how to better prepare for these tests moving forward.


Insight counselor Jenny H reflected on her studying for the ACT test prep


What I Did Adequately

Even though there were some parts I would have done differently, there were a few things I feel like I did adequately.   


1. Be Determined

If there’s one thing I am at peace with, it’s that I was determined and worked hard to do “well.” My desk was piled high with practice books, and you would constantly find me in the library furiously scribbling into a notebook for hours.

For the majority of us, determination is a crucial component in doing well on the SAT / ACT. This is also the attitude you will need to succeed in college and beyond, so I hope that you will continue to develop this mindset while studying for the SAT / ACT.

2. Be Prepared on Test Day

On test day, I had everything ready: multiple pencils, an eraser, a calculator, etc. Even though I was nervous about the test, I knew I had everything I needed which at least alleviated a little bit of stress. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to come equipped with all materials on the day of the test!

If you are taking the test in-person, I also recommend visiting the testing site before test day if possible.  In case of unexpected circumstances—heavy traffic, you wake up later than expected, etc.—you’ll at least know where the testing site is instead of frantically searching the day of.


3. The Score Doesn’t Define Me

I wasn’t the best test-taker which reflected in my score, but I didn’t believe the results implied that I was a failure or predestined to fail in college.  I chose to be proactive in my studies and present on my college campus which wouldn’t have been possible if I’d given up because of my standardized test results!

Thus, if you don’t do “well” on the SAT or ACT test, don’t give up on yourself. Work hard in college! Consequently, identify and cultivate your gifts so that you can better yourself and serve your community. 


What I Could Have Done Better

However, there’s more to getting a “good” SAT/ACT score than just determination. The following is what I feel like I could have done better prior to the test and after receiving my score.


having structure and strategy for your test prep is key


1. You Sure About THAT Test, Jenny?

In retrospect, I wasn’t as mindful as I could have been when deciding which standardized test to take. If I had done a more thoughtful job, I might have gotten a score that more accurately reflected the effort I put into studying for it.

Thus, choose the test that you’re taking with careful consideration; one way to help you decide is to take both the SAT and the ACT diagnostic tests. At Insight, we offer both ACT and SAT test assessments so you can know which test is for you.


2. Don’t Just Study! Learn HOW to Study

As I mentioned, I had the determination to succeed. However, besides whatever guidance was offered in the practice books, I didn’t understand how to strategically approach each problem. If I could rewind, I would enroll in an SAT / ACT class to acquire these skills.

I recommend reaching out to a trusted individual in your support system who is skilled in taking standardized tests, as they might be able to offer some advice. Even better, if you have the financial means, I encourage you to take a class or find a suitable tutor who can offer valuable insight on creating a study plan and how to effectively navigate taking these tests.

We offer SAT and ACT test prep classes at Insight. The instructors not only review the topics and concepts, but they also walk you through test reviews and time management. You can click here to find out more.


3. Make an Action Plan

Given that I self-studied, I was fully responsible for learning all the materials before test day. I vaguely remember that I created a general plan, but I should have had a more elaborate schedule with more definite deadlines to ensure that I was completely prepared before test day. 

Consider making a schedule if you feel that it’ll help keep you accountable. I recommend using a planner so that you can refer back to the milestones you set.  Appropriate deadlines include noting when you plan on taking a practice test or reviewing vocabulary words. By breaking the task into smaller ones, it could make studying for the SAT / ACT feel more manageable.

Note: It’s okay if you occasionally veer off schedule! You might find yourself having a busier week than you originally anticipated, and instead of compromising your health, you can always adjust your schedule to make up for any material you missed. Remember, your well-being should always come first!

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Ready, Set, Take the Test!

4. Take Practice Exams That Replicate the Testing Environment

Besides lacking the tools to successfully attack the exam, I also took practice tests in conditions that did not fully reflect an actual testing environment. As a result, I question if this was an effective way to study in hindsight. 

When taking a practice exam, it’s important to replicate the testing environment: don’t eat snacks, listen to music, play with your phone, and give yourself ample time to solve the problems (In other words, use a timer that reflects the time constraints you have on each section when taking the actual test). In doing so, you will ideally grow more accustomed to the conditions you will experience on test day.


5. Find Other Opportunities to Highlight Strengths

Given that my score could have been better, successfully highlighting my strengths were even more crucial when I applied to colleges as a senior in high school. While I tried to do so at the time, I’m now more aware of different opportunities, like working a part-time job or starting personal projects, that I could have participated in.

Everyone has strengths including yourself. If you are struggling with standardized tests as I did, I encourage you to find safe and reputable opportunities to showcase your strengths and interests on the college admission application. Your Insight counselor can provide some resources as well!  


Concluding Thoughts

In essence, it’s not only important to have the heart to study but the knowledge on how to study for these tests.

However, know that your SAT/ACT score is just one data point that colleges will consider, so it is not the end all be all. Remember, the SAT/ACT is something, but it is not everything. Moreover, a mediocre SAT/ACT score does not suggest that your doomed to fail nor does a stellar SAT/ACT score guarantee a perfect GPA in college. That’s partly influenced by your attitude and work ethic.

So work hard, study wisely, and good luck! You got this!


Written by Jenny Huang

This article was written by Insight Counselor Jenny Huang.

Jenny graduated from UC Berkeley after transferring from UC Santa Barbara. Her unique “inter-UC transfer” experience inspired her to become a mentor and a college admission counselor.