ACT Prep: The Pros and Cons of Taking the July ACT


Summer is practically here, and if you live in Michigan like we do, we know that Spring lasted just about 48 hours before we started roaring into the high 80s.

For the first time ever, the ACT is offering a test in July. Yep. Right smack dab in the middle of the summer.

While some might view it as a cruel move on the part of the standardized test provider, we here at Mally A.C.T. see pros and cons to taking the ACT in July.

Normally, we recommend students don’t start taking ACTs until the fall of their Junior year because students need to have that Algebra II foundation for the Math portion (which most students complete by the end of their sophomore year). Plus, students can spend the summer preparing for the ACT if they'd like.

There are definitely pros to taking the test in July. Here are a couple:

Get a head start: The July test offers students a chance to sort of get a head start on their ACT endeavors without having to wait until September.

One less thing to worry about: September can be stressful enough for students as is – the start of a new school year, fall sports kicking into high gear, and so on. We focus on trying to prevent anxiety as much as possible, not increase it by adding on the September test.

But what about the other side of the coin? Here are a couple cons to keep in mind:

Students are already in Summer mode: With most students having at least a month off of school already, it’s hard to be in that test-taking mindset when the pool is calling. Without being in that school-groove, student’s might not be in the best position to succeed.

The heat is on: Literally. Most schools don’t have air conditioning, so taking the test in July when the temperatures are rising could lead to an uncomfortable test day experience.

If this is the first time a student is taking the ACT, we’d recommend students use our full-length ACT test analysis to get a baseline score before actually taking the test. It comes complete with an actual ACT that has been administered in the past, and provides students with a detailed six-page analysis breaking down strengths and weaknesses with pinpointed accuracy.

As always, our tutoring consultants are standing by, and if you have any questions regarding the July ACT or our full-length ACT test analysis, contact us and we’re happy to help!

Related: ACT Prep: Should Students Take the ACT without Practice?