Tag Archives: ACT

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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To Test, Or Not To Test?

In a land, devastated by famine and drought, shimmering pools of water and images of plenty tempted travelers and visitors. Were these hallucinations? Oh dear reader, these visions are inspired by the financial waves crashing on colleges – I was using a metaphor for the feast and famine landscape higher education institutions are facing thanks to the pandemic. Namely – some schools are financially “feasting” while others are facing enormous revenue shortfalls. Not all colleges and universities are in the same boat!


Consider this. The Wall Street Journal recently stated, “Binding early decision applications rose by 22% at Brown University, 23% at the University of Pennsylvania, 29% at Dartmouth College, and 49% at Columbia University. At Yale University and Harvard University, applications under the restrictive early-action option jumped by about 38% and 57%, respectively.”


Chart showing increase in number of college applications


Outcomes from Early Applications from the Class of 2021


The pandemic accelerated the shift in testing policy, leading to drastic changes in the college admissions landscape. In just a few weeks in the spring of 2020, over 95% of selective four-year colleges and universities announced their decisions to be test-optional for 2020-2021. Many seniors did not have an opportunity to take the SAT or ACT in 2020 before their application deadlines. Those who had planned for testing early (such as our Insight students) had the option to choose to submit their scores. With the barrier of testing removed for many students, they suddenly imagined the possibility of an acceptance offer from a school that might have been a dream previously.


This year is pivotal as students who are disadvantaged or discouraged by testing will have more possibilities than ever before. In fact, many highly selective schools such as Amherst, Boston College, Colgate, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, UPenn, Rice, UVA, and Williams have recently extended their temporary policies to 2021-2022 application cycle; most others are expected to follow suit by spring.


A word of caution before you decide that the SAT or ACT will be gone forever – it is important to point out the wording of these testing policy announcements for additional insight into the school’s attitude toward testing. For example, Brown’s announcement started with “the extraordinary circumstances that continue to face students this year.” Stanford’s note in responding to Covid on standardized testing outlined that “if you have already taken the ACT or SAT…, then you are welcome to self-report them.” And Princeton’s statement included its process for determining academic rigor. “When considered in context and in conjunction with other academic factors, testing such as the SAT or the ACT can be very helpful in assessing a student’s preparation for Princeton’s curriculum.”


Without the barrier of test scores, many colleges are seeing surges in number of applications this year, as we saw with the Wall Street Journal article. Harvard saw applications rise by 42% overall and the University of California system by 16%. However, admissions offices are also delaying decision releasing date or making more use of wait lists due to the volume of applications. Overall, many top colleges showed a decrease in acceptance in the early admissions stage.


Chart showing drop in acceptance rate in popular colleges



Class of 2022: Keeping Your Options Open in a Competitive Context

There are so many colleges that changed their policies in light of the pandemic – you can read our very comprehensive and helpful list of test-optional schools here – that it becomes difficult to sift through the actual changes specific colleges make, the changes that College Board or ACT make, and the realities that colleges face – to figure out what you yourself want to do!!! Jeff Selingo tweeted about the practical limitations that admissions offices face – they simply cannot “add more days to the reading calendar,” which is why standardized tests are still useful as a “governor on apps.” If you were managing an admissions office, would you use tools that helped you make your work more efficient? Probably.

And something for applicants to consider is the behavior of one’s classmates – do you think others in your graduating class will skip the opportunity to take these tests? All things being equal, students who have scores to report retain a potential advantage over those who don’t. Having the option to send scores—to all colleges, to some colleges, or to no colleges—is a path we can help you plan.

As we continue to carefully monitor trends, we will continue to analyze the data available to us and share our insights on the impact of flexible testing policies. We’ve already seen that a relaxed testing policy does not make a highly selective school less competitive. In reality, it can boost a college’s desirability, continuing to limit the available spots and demand for them. Universities that were already in demand reached record high levels of interest in 2020, especially in their early application rounds, resulting in record low early admit rates.


Wish to improve your test scores? Check out Insight’s upcoming SAT / ACT classes here.


In the coming years, we will see if applicant and admission profiles at competitive colleges alter and what role testing policies have in that change. Please continue to follow Insight Education through social media as we update you on the latest in college admissions or schedule a 1-hour college planning session with our experienced counselors to personalize your academic and testing strategies. 


Read more: Ready, Set, Take the Test!

Written by Meilin Obinata

This article’s main contributor is Insight Senior College Admissions Counselor Meilin Obinata.

Meilin Obinata is a Senior College Counselor who enjoys learning from her students. She believes education is a creative endeavor and creates a space that allows students to explore new ideas. As a Bay Area native who grew up in Santa Cruz, she is familiar with the local schools. Read her full bio here.