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ACT Section Retesting Revision

The ACT has announced that the previously-planned September launch of Section Retesting has been postponed. According to ACT, this “will enable us to increase testing capacity for those who need to take the full ACT test.” Due to the cancellation of the April ACT, and many test centers being unable to host the June ACT, many students have been unable to take their planned ACT test date. While the ACT is “preparing for greater testing capacity for July 18 testing,” it is likely that some test centers will again be closed. Information about test center closings will be announced by the end of June.

In the meantime, postponing the individual Section Retesting will allow more seats for students to take the full ACT exam. Section Retesting is currently expected to launch “later in 2021.” When Section Retesting is launched, students will have the ability to retake individual sections of an ACT, instead of retaking an entire exam. This option will require that a student first take a full ACT test, and they will be able to take up to three sections at one time. Also of note, Section Retesting will only be conducted as a computer-based exam and will not be available to students by the traditional paper method.

While we expect that Section Retesting will be beneficial for some students, due to the uncertainty of this timeline, we encourage students not to rely on this option being available in time for their particular application plans. Instead, students should focus on preparing to take the entire exam until we know more about when Section Retesting will be available.

What’s Next for Students?

With so many things happening this year, you might be left saying, “What’s Next for Students”? 2020 has been the year of change for so many reasons, but many high school Sophomores and Juniors are wondering what are they supposed to do now? Do they take the ACT? If so, which test date? If they do not take the ACT, is that okay too?

Let’s start with moving forward. The April 4th ACT was canceled and many locations across the country also canceled the June ACT. Those students who were signed up to take the test on those dates were pushed back to June or July, respectively. The July national test date isn’t hugely popular, although many of our tutors think it’s a good choice for students who don’t want to compete with studying for the ACT while in school.

The September 12th ACT is a great test date for students to aspire to since they will already be about a month into school at that point and will be able to get back into the swing of studying and applying themselves scholastically.  As far as test prep goes, our courses start July 21st in preparation for the September test. Since prep begins in the summer, students have more flexibility with their schedules for about half of their total test prep.

ACT Test Date Prep Start Date
September 12th  July 21st
October 24th  September 3rd

Another option for students to consider is waiting until the fall/winter to take the ACT in either October or December. Keep in mind, test prep at Get Smarter Prep for any ACT is generally eight weeks in length. Make sure your schedules are cohesive with studying and prepping for a certain ACT date.

Test Optional

For the class of 2021, is the ACT necessary? For some colleges and universities, the answer is no. Due to COVID-19, certain schools are reconsidering the ACT for the class of 2021 for college acceptance. However, that does not take into consideration Merit-Based Scholarships. Those scholarships will still be based on your GPA as well as your ACT score. Keep that in mind as you consider whether to take the ACT.   

The bottom line for high school students moving forward, is to do your own research. Some colleges will be test optional, some will not. Some colleges will accept students from the class of 2021 with or without an ACT/SAT. Still, other colleges will only offer Merit-Based Scholarships with a certain ACT score. Each school is different, so make sure to look into every college on your list and see what their requirements are before making a rash decision.

Does My Student Need A Mentor?

Three Changes to the ACT

February 25th ACT for Kansas Juniors

There are quite a few ACT dates to choose from throughout the year including the new February 25th test date for Kansas Juniors.  This is actually the second year Kansas has offered a free ACT to all public-school Juniors. Last year, the test date was postponed from the end of February to the very beginning of April due to a snowstorm.

What does this mean for Juniors? There are two ACT dates for February. One on February 8th, which is a national test date, and of course February 25th, exclusively for Kansas Juniors attending public school.  Those specific Juniors can take the ACT twice in February. You will have to sign up for both in advance. You can’t simply take the February 8th test, receive your scores back approximately 10 days later around the 18th, and if you’re not satisfied with your score then sign up for the February 25th test. The deadline for the Feb 25th test date is usually toward the middle of December. The deadlines for both test dates are below.

  February 8th ACT  February 25th ACT
Registration Deadline January 10th  Mid-December 
Late Registration Deadline January 17th  Check with your school 

Students will want to check with their high school as some schools opt-in every Junior automatically and other schools require students to opt-in for the test instead of automatically enrolling the students.

Since this is Kansas and there could possibly be another blizzard in February, ACT.org has planned an alternate date for a make up date for April 7th.

Testing with Accommodations

If you have testing accommodations such as time and half or testing on numerous dates, then your window is between February 25-28, 2020 and March 2-6, 2020 for a make up date.

Online Testing

Students will have access to online testing for this ACT as well. The initial testing window is February 25-27, 2020 and March 3-5, 2020.

The makeup online testing window is April 7-9, 2020 and April 14-16, 2020.

ACT Prep

Get Smarter Prep is offering a specific ACT prep class for the February 25th ACT date. We are holding a Standard and Advanced Course at our Leawood location. Classes are more than likely to fill quickly, so make sure you register before December 20th. Semi-Private and Private Tutoring is always available.

We are also offering our Standard and Advanced Course for the February 8th ACT date at our Mission location as well as Semi-Private and Private Tutoring. Classes start soon, so be sure to register before December 18th. 

 

 

ACT Standard Course – What You Can Expect

Our Standard ACT Preparation Course is taught by the most qualified instructors of any company in the region and focused on a smaller, more cohesive group. Get Smarter Prep students consistently find results through our tried and true curriculum. This course includes 20 hours of instruction, 3 practice tests, and Office Hours with an instructor, leading right up to the actual test date. We will provide all of the materials necessary.

Standard Prep Course

Classes are capped at 8 students, but in general, we like to hold a class with 4-6 students to make sure we have more of a small classroom feel. That way our students have more access to their tutor and feel more comfortable asking questions as well as speaking up in class. All the students in the class are scoring within the same ACT range of 17-23 (the 33rd-69th percentiles) and will be learning at the same pace. 

Schedule

Each week the students will be meeting at the same location (either our Mission or Leawood location) at the same time. Schedules are posted on our website and both students and their parents will get an email confirming their schedule.

For each course, there will be 20 hours of instruction split up by ten, 2-hour sessions. Students will also be given three practice tests. Starting with a Pretest to establish a baseline score, a Midterm to determine how far they’ve come with five sessions under their belt, and a Final to see what the students needs to focus on with one session remaining before the official ACT.  The Pretest, Midterm, and Final are all proctored at one of our locations on Saturday mornings.

Materials for the class, which are all provided by Get Smarter Prep, consist of the ACT book and the ACT student manual which contain the students’ homework. Students can plan on average, 1 ½ to 2 hours of homework per session. Tutors will expect all homework to be complete by the student by the next study session.

Office Hours

Office Hours are always available to our students. We offer Office Hours at our Leawood location every Tuesday evening from 7-8:30pm as well as our Mission location every Saturday from 11am-12:30pm. Office Hours are a FREE opportunity for currently enrolled students to ask additional questions, catch-up in sections where they need extra help, work through assigned homework, focus on the timing component, and/or work through additional test questions. 

How Many Points Can A Student Expect to Increase?

Our Standard Course is a perfect fit for those students who are scoring similarly within each section of the ACT. Students who have a six-point difference between their sub scores are a better fit for Private Tutoring as they need more specific help in one area over the other.

On average, students can expect to see a 2-4 point increase in their ACT score within a 10-week window! Keep in mind, students who are present, finish their homework on time, come to Office Hours, and have a good attitude generally score higher than those who don’t.

College Admissions Scandal – Update

It’s been a hot topic since this spring when the story first hit the press, but what’s the latest information in the College Admissions Scandal and what does this mean for parents?

When the story first broke about famous actors and uber rich parents buying their way into colleges, everyone was shocked. Now that there are more details coming out and those same parents facing additional charges, the scandal has become quite the headline.

Charges and Outcomes

Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, along with nine other parents, now face additional bribery charges.  Conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy fraud are two charges these families are already facing.  

Some parents are already in prison, including actress Felicity Huffman, who after pleading guilty, received 14 days in a low-security prison for paying $15,000 to increase her daughter’s SAT score by 400 points.

Some parents apparently paid as little as $200,000 and upwards of $6.5 million to have their students admitted to various colleges and universities throughout the United States. A few of those colleges include USC, Yale, Wake Forest, Georgetown, and Stanford among others.

Honesty is the best policy

Was it worth it? Of course not. You know what is worth it? Hard work and dedication for starters. There are things in life that will not be handed to you. You simply have to work for it. Getting a good ACT or SAT score is one of those things.

That’s why here at Get Smarter Prep, we offer eight different levels of tutoring to help students study for the ACT. We offer two different ACT courses, Semi-Private Tutoring as well as Private Tutoring with three varying levels of tutors for both Semi-Private and Private Tutoring. Each student is different, that’s why we like to customize tutoring sessions to fit the student.

Our goal with each student is for them to get the score they need for the school they want by them working diligently towards that said score. We help students reach their goals through strategies and knowledge gained from each session with their tutor, completed homework, and attending Office Hours to ask additional questions.

To find out more about the college admissions scandal, listen to our podcast, Simply Smarter, where Premier-Level Tutor, Caleb Pierce and Marketing Director, Jill Purcell unpack the details of the scheme that rocked prestigious colleges and universities across the United States.