I’m feeling super stressed out right now, since I just found out my testing center, as well as all the other centers in the area, have closed for the September ACT due to Covid. I know that most schools are going test-optional, but I can’t help but think this is going to hurt my chances. I’m feeling really discouraged. I am scheduled to take an ACT in October as the makeup for the ACT that was supposed to happen my junior year. Can I even get a competitive score in one sitting??
A high score will help at colleges that consider them, but no score will not hurt you. It just means everything else on the application will carry more weight. Remember, it is in each college’s best interests to accept the best applicants who are likely to attend, whether or not they have a test score.
It is possible to get a competitive score in one sitting, and the closest indicator of your probability of doing so is your practice test scores taken under as close to actual test conditions as possible.
If you are really worried about not having a score, you might try the SAT. I wouldn’t jump through hoops for a score. The more test site cancelations there are, the more likely more students are going to be applying TO. You really aren’t at any particular disadvantage right now.
Yes, you can. Like @Groundwork2022 said, taking practice tests as close to actual test conditions will give you a “ballpark figure” of your testing range. My DS20 built his own test preparation regime that worked well for him and it was not time consuming. He took one practice ACT and SAT under actual testing conditions during the summer after his sophomore year of HS and found he preferred the ACT. He entered his final scores into Khan Academy which built a preparation regime that he spent 10-15 minutes on every day. He took a full length practice ACT a 2nd time after a few weeks and entered those scores into Khan Academy as well, which provided him similar questions to the ones he missed and he continued to spend 10-15 minutes a day reviewing questions for about 2 months. Lastly, he took 1 set of practice tests on the Reading and Science sections, which were the sections he had the most issues with.
That work paid off as he scored higher on his 1st and only sitting of the ACT in September of his junior year (35 composite with 35E, 34M, 34R, 36S) than on any full length practice test he took. I am wishing you good luck in being able to take the ACT and getting the score you are hoping to receive.
Lack of test score is more likely to hurt if you need a merit scholarship that rests on your hitting a specific test score. Check your universities, especially the academic match and safety ones