ACT

LogicPrep Introduces Proctored Computer-Based Testing for International Students

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As you've probably heard, the September ACT will be going digital for all international students. Here at LogicPrep, we're ready!

Our team has been working like crazy getting our own computer-based testing interface up and running, and we are so excited to be able to offer this unique simulated testing environment for our international students. There isn't much opportunity for computer-based practice elsewhere, and we're proud to pioneer this testing format to help our students be just as prepared as ever for the official ACT. I actually just finished taking one of the computer-based tests myself (as part of our proofreading process), and phew! -- it is quite a different challenge to take a four-hour test on a computer screen, even when the content is exactly the same.

It's by no means an insurmountable challenge, though -- this new format will just require practice to get used to. Which is precisely why we've put so much effort into developing this computer-based testing interface and developing it quickly. We've paid especially close attention to the format that the ACT has announced and made sure to include all the important details to which students will have to adapt. And by launching this past weekend, we're giving our students four full weekends of computer-based practice testing to train before the September ACT.

So, LP international students, what are you waiting for?  Let's get to work!

 Students taking the first digital ACT at LogicPrep São Paulo

Students taking the first digital ACT at LogicPrep São Paulo

Please be sure to read these reminders if you plan to come in for a practice digital ACT:

When possible, please bring your own laptop (and charger!) to your proctored session. We have a limited number of computers available in each of our offices, and those that we have will be offered to students without computers of their own on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you show up to a proctored test session without a computer and all of the desktops at the office are already taken, we will offer you a paper test to take, but we will be unable to accommodate you for the computer-based simulation. Also, don’t forget your charger -- the four hour ACT is a long test for a laptop to make it through!

Please make sure to sign up for your practice test session in advance. Many of you already do this, either during your lessons with your instructors or by responding to the signup emails you receive each Wednesday. Now that we’re offering computer-based tests, it’s all the more important that you sign up in advance so that we’re able to prepare the unique code that will allow you access the test assigned for that day.

Please arrive on time (read: early) for your practice test sessions. This is important not only so that you get the full time on your test session, but also so that you don’t disrupt the other students taking a test alongside you.

As always, let us know if you have any questions -- and we look forward to seeing you in the office soon!

International ACT Registration Now Open!

Calling all LP International Students!

Registration for the 2018-2019 ACT tests is now open. As we mentioned in our earlier articles (here and here) about the new computer-based ACT, you’ll want to sign up AS SOON AS POSSIBLE for these tests. Because there are fewer test centers (for example, there are only two in Rio and two in São Paulo) and potentially fewer seats per testing center, it is likely that these test centers will fill up quickly. We highly recommend that you sign up early (aka now) to ensure that you are able to reserve a seat at your preferred testing center.

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A couple of things to note:

You will need to set up a new MyACT account to register for the upcoming computer-based tests (even if you’ve taken the ACT before). For all international tests going forward, the ACT will use this new and separate system for test registration and score release. Eventually, they’ll likely merge the two systems for international students, but for now, all ACT scores before August 2018 will be accessible through the US System, and all non-US registrations and scores after August 2018 will be accessible only through the MyACT (International) System.

To create an account, register, and to find more information, just follow this link to the ACT’s Non-US student registration page. After you create an account, the registration process is pretty straightforward and user-friendly, but if you need any help, just ask one of our admin team members to assist you.

Any questions? As always, reach out to us and we’ll do our best to answer them!

Why the Diagnostic Process is Crucial to the Test Prep Process

The diagnostic process is the first step for everyone in what is a very long road. Why do we do this? It is extremely important for the student, the family and our staff to understand where we are starting from on both the SAT and ACT; knowing what you're up against is half the battle. Sometimes knowing what you don't want to do in your test prep is just as important as figuring out what to do, and we want all of our families to understand all of their options in totality before making a decision together. After we complete the diagnostic process, we can prepare a game plan for each student that addresses their specific needs.

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A question I get asked all the time now is why take the SAT during the diagnostic process. While it is true that most students will end up taking the ACT because of the wealth of practice material that is available for the ACT, we want all of our students to have an understanding of both options. It also brings clarity for the entire process. While it doesn't happen often, we don't want a student to change strategy and tests midway through their test prep. Creating a unified goal for us to work towards is crucial to set at the beginning of the process. As mentioned earlier, if I have a student take a diagnostic SAT and they come back to me and say, "I never want to see another SAT again," that tells me everything I need to know.

Another key component in the diagnostic process that sets us apart, is the ability to meet with different instructors and pick whom you would like to work with. While all of our instructors are incredibly talented and bright, they all bring different personalities and teaching styles. Finding the right fit for each student is paramount to success.

At the end of the process, we want to empower our students to be in control of their test prep. This is an important process that allows for a lot of growth and we want to foster that growth.

In the words of our late founder, Jesse Kolber, "don't be the sage on the stage, be the guide on the side."

5 Things You Need to Know Before Taking the ACT Science Section

The ACT Science section can be an intimidating section of the test. It’s structure and what it covers are a mystery to a lot of people, and can seem odd when one first takes it. However, a few basic pointers will do a good job in introducing you to the test and will put you on a path to bring your score to its full potential.

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It’s not rocket science

Is science not your ‘thing’? Not a problem! That doesn’t mean you cannot get a great score on the science section of the ACT. The science section is more a test of your abilities to read, interpret, and break down graphs and tables. General science knowledge definitely helps, but even if science is your thing, you are guaranteed to run into material that might look unfamiliar. Have no fear! Almost all questions for each passage can be answered without background knowledge of the topic presented. You do not have to be a top science student to get a great score.

Graphs and tables are your friends

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While general science knowledge might not be so important, one thing that you will definitely have to be good at is interpreting graphs and tables. A really big part of the science section involves interpreting data. Questions will ask you to find data points on graphs, hypothesize potential results based on trends, and combine tables to find different solutions. Understanding how to read and break down graphs and tables is one of the main skills of the science section.

Don’t sweat the fine print

Does all of that text in each science passage seem a bit daunting? The good news is that you can get away with mostly skimming these passages. One only needs to get the gist of what the experiment is doing before concentrating on the information that is on graphs or tables. Reading each science passage through all the way is an easy and silly way to lose valuable time on the test.

Timing, timing, timing

Much like the rest of the ACT test, the science test is all about timing. 35 minutes to answer 40 questions means that you have to make your way through the science section at a brisk pace in order to make it all the way to its end. Understanding your own personal timing patterns, and allocating time strategically are essential in order to get through all questions in the section.

Do not stress!

The most important pointer for all sections of the test. Unnecessary stress can affect anyone, especially after three hours into a long test, and it will make your brain work a lot slower. Work at a good pace and do not let the test get to your head. After all your hard work and preparation it's important to not let worries get the best of you and affect your performance, especially when you’re so close to the finish line!

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The science section can be difficult, but it is not impossible to break! If you apply these simple strategies you are sure to already start improving your science score on the ACT.

Even More Information on International Computer-Based ACT

NEWSFLASH: We now know more about the Computer-Based ACT, which will be the only form of ACT administration offered internationally beginning this September.

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Some of you may remember from my April post that the ACT will officially be entirely computer-based at all international test administrations beginning this September.

Some of you may also remember that there were a number of questions still unanswered at that point -- what the testing interface would look like, whether the timing would be the same, what testing centers will be available, etc. -- and that you could expect more updates released by the ACT (and delivered by yours truly) coming sometime in June/July.

And so, here we are!  The ACT has recently released a more detailed picture about what exactly the Computer-Based Testing (CBT) will look like, which answers quite a few of the questions that we were left with in April:

What will the testing interface look like?

Generally, the testing window will be split into two parts -- the passages will appear on the left side of the screen, and the questions will appear on the right.

Although you won’t be able to write on the screen (meaning that some of your strategies will have to change), you will get scratch paper to work on, and there are some neat tools on the testing interface that will help you adjust to the CBT format (see the ACT’s infographic below).

Among the features that caught my attention:

  • The Test Timer in the upper right-hand corner is a built-in way for you to ensure that your pacing is on track within each section.
  • The Navigation Bar allows you to see how many questions you have left in the section, to flag questions to come back to and to see which sections you’ve flagged.
  • The Highlighter allows you to highlight words and phrases in the passages. I’m super excited that you have the ability to do this, especially for the Reading section, and I think it will make the transition to the CBT format much easier.
  • The Line Reader allows you to zero in on a specific block of text (or figure), which could be a really helpful tool to help you avoid getting distracted from unnecessary or unrelated information.
  • If you’ve ever had a Reading lesson with me, you know that one of my favorite strategies is to “answer the questions in your own words first, then look for the choice that best matches.”  The Answer Masker allows you to mask the answer choices and then reveal them one at a time, so you can do just that!
  • Or… if you’re trying to use the process of elimination on a question, the Answer Eliminator allows you to keep track of the answers that you don’t like.

Will the timing be the same?

Yep!  The same timing that you’ve been practicing all along will still apply.

What about the Writing section?

This is actually one of the sections that I think will be easier with the CBT format.  You’ll now get a text field that does not have a spell-check function but that does give you the ability to copy and paste.  This will allow you to plan out the skeleton of your essay, then elaborate on each point, and then even decide to switch the order of your points if you wish (not to mention, allow you to type instead of writing by hand, which is much faster for most of us!).

What testing centers will be available on what dates?

We have this question half-answered so far:

The 2018-2019 International Test Dates have been released (see below, or check out the ACT's website).  You may notice that there is now a February test offered internationally (there didn’t used to be!) and that both Friday and Saturday are offered for each of the testing windows.  The ACT also reports that “for each of the two days within a testing window, there will be morning and afternoon sessions offered,” which could potentially give you more opportunities to make a test work with your schedule (and your body clock).

However, registration hasn’t opened yet, so there’s still no information available about where the tests will be offered.  Because of the increased technical requirements for test centers under the CBT format, we expect that seats might be limited.  My personal recommendation? Sign up for a text or email alert on the ACT's website to be the first to know when the September test registration opens, and then sign up as soon as possible to ensure that you get a seat in your preferred location.

Still have more questions?

Check out our original "Digital ACT" post - there’s a lot more information there.  And if you have any dúvidas that haven’t yet been addressed, reach out to your instructors and Academic Advisors.  They’ll help you come up with some CBT-specific strategies for the new testing format and make sure that you’re well prepared come September!

Changes to the ACT Coming September 2018

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In September, the ACT will be making two changes to the test, one of which affects students with accommodations, one that does not. 

Students receiving an accommodation of 50% extra time will be required to have the time divided proportionally among all of the sections rather than having the option to allocate the additional time as they choose. 

Students without accommodations will see a new 5th section of the test appearing. This will be a short, 20-minute section that will "contain the same sorts of questions as the rest of the test" according to the ACT, although they were not able to say what the topic of the questions would be. This section will be experimental and will not impact students' scores.

These changes will be appearing in the US in September.

As always, if you have any question about this announcement or wish to speak with a LogicPrep advisor, we are more than happy to discuss. Click the button below to reach out today!

Advice for the ACT Reading Section

In his last post, Andrew provided some useful tips for the SAT Reading section. To balance things out a bit, I want to offer some advice for the ACT Reading section, where the time pressure (40 questions in 35 minutes!) is even greater than on the SAT (Warning: This passage contains spoilers for LogicPrep ACT Test 32).

When I meet with a beginning student to go over a practice ACT, one of the things that I look at, right off the bat, is the student’s note-taking, the markings they made on the reading passages. What phrases or sentences did they circle or underline? What marginal notations did they make?

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With these beginning students, I usually find that one of two scenarios holds. Sometimes, the student hasn’t made any markings at all. When I see that, it worries me. I wonder whether the student really read the passage. An unmarked page can be a sign that the student simply allowed their eyes to glide over the words and didn’t try to engage actively with the content of the passage. And even if that’s not the case—even if the student read the passage as diligently as they could—I worry that they’re trying to carry too much in their active memories. When they get to a question that stumps them, how are they going to find a way “back in” to the passage they just read?

Other times, I find that the student has underlined just about every word in the passage. This worries me, too. For starters, when the passage is all marked up, the whole purpose of marking the passage has been defeated. How can you find what’s really important when your markings suggest that everything is? And I haven’t even mentioned the time that’s wasted in all that pencil-dragging.

The key is to find a happy medium, and the way to do that is to know ahead of time what you’re looking for. Here are some things I tell students to look for, and to mark, as they read.

For every kind of ACT passage, circle any word you don’t know. “Serendipitous”? Circle it. “Solipsistic”? Circle it. Consider this: If you don’t know the word, chances are good that a lot of other test-takers won’t know it, either. That’s probably why the designers of the test included it there. And if it’s an unusual word whose meaning can be discerned from the context, then it’s quite likely that one of the questions is going to ask you to discern that meaning. If you can anticipate those questions as you read, you’ll save time later.

Relatedly, mark any language that stands out—any phrase that’s especially colorful, or unusual, or that makes you pause so that you can figure it out. If an author describes part of his writing process as “tak[ing] arms against [a] word, or for it”—well, that’s a weird thing to say. Underline the phrase, and take those few seconds to think about what the author means. Again, it’s likely that one of the questions will ask you to do that. So why not get out ahead of the question?

For fiction and humanities passages, keep in mind that many of the ACT’s literary narratives are not linear; what happens in the first paragraph of the passage is not necessarily the first event in the timeline of the story. The ACT loves flashbacks, flash-forwards, and interspersed plot lines, and it loves asking you to put a story’s events in chronological order. When the time of the plot shifts in any of these ways, I put a big “T” in the margin, to mark the shift in time.

For fiction and humanities passages, I also pay attention to, and mark, any expressions of strong feeling. If the main character says that he is “insanely jealous” of something, or if an author tells you that a character clenched her teeth, mark that! The questions will often ask you about what’s going on, emotionally, in a passage.

Finally, for social science and natural science passages, underline any unanswered questions or any questions that are still awaiting scientific investigation. The ACT loves to ask about these; I guess they want to make sure that, once you’re done reading, you’re clear on what it is you DON’T know. I mark these unanswered questions with a big “U” in the margin.

Those are just a few of my suggestions. And they could all be summarized under a more general piece of advice: 

Read actively, and mark the passages selectively to help you in your active reading.

If you see me around, I’d love to hear what you look for and mark as you read. Are there other things I should add to my list?

Learning a New Language?

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When I was 10 years old I moved to a foreign country where I didn't understand a single word of what anyone was saying. It was a shocking experience as I never expected to be in a reality where everything was so familiar and unknown at the same time. The first time I went to school in this new place I struggled a lot to understand others and to be understood. That was the moment I realized how important communication and languages are. Here are some tips that I certainly used as I ventured into this new world.

 

Everyone starts at zero

Just like a baby who’s learning how to speak, you’re going to say a lot of silly things when learning a new language, so just get over it and throw yourself out there! 

Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Achieving your goals requires failing and learning from mistakes. 

Learning a foreign language is not so different from when you learned your native one. You need to listen and repeat the same sounds you’re hearing, making connections between words, feelings and moments, just as you used to do with your parents right after you were born. 

 

Phonemes

Have you ever noticed that who speaks more than one language seems to have more than one voice? This happens because every language works with different phonemes, sounds, and tones, so our voice needs to adapt to them. 

For instance, Brazilians have trouble pronouncing the ‘th’ sound in English (found in words like ‘think’ or ‘thumb’) and Americans have trouble saying the ‘ão’ sound found in words such as ‘pão’ or ‘macarrão’ in Portuguese.

In order to correctly pronounce new phonemes, you need to pay attention to how native speakers move their lips, tongues and more importantly to their voice intonation/cadence.  

 

Conversation is Key

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I commonly hear that the best way to learn a new language is to move to a foreign country, and this is true, but I also know people who lived outside their native country and never learned a thing. So what’s the secret?! It’s simple: TALK

Research has shown that our brains record information that involves human experiences and feelings much easier as opposed to just memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules by heart. So in order to actually learn a language, you need to engage in conversations, talk to new people and you’ll learn something new every time you do it. 

 

Reading is very important

Either for work, school, or personal interest, reading is probably one of the things we do the most on a daily basis, so it’s very important that you dedicate lots of time to read during your learning process - It will help you to understand grammar and to learn new words and expressions. 

 

Listen and Repeat

It’s important that you never feel ashamed to ask “How do you say..” to someone, and when you do, try to use it a few times right away. Note it down, and try to repeat it again after a few hours, and then the day after. With practice and repetition, it's likely that you'll remember the next time.

 

Learning Stages

According to a study by the University of Portland, there are 5 stages to learning a new language: 

  1. Silent/receptive - During this time, new language learners typically spend time learning vocabulary and practice pronouncing new words
  2. Early production - Language learners typically acquire an understanding of up to 1,000 words. They may also learn to speak some words and begin forming short phrases, even though they may not be grammatically correct.
  3. Speech emergence - By this stage, learners typically acquire a vocabulary of up to 3,000 words and learn to communicate by putting the words in short phrases, sentences, and questions. 
  4. Intermediate fluency - At this stage, learners typically have a vocabulary of as many as 6,000 words. They usually acquire the ability to communicate in writing and speech using more complex sentences. This crucial stage is also when learners begin thinking in their second language, which helps them gain more proficiency in speaking it.
  5. Continued language development/advanced fluency - It may take up to 10 years to achieve full mastery of the second language in all its complexities and nuances. Second language learners need ongoing opportunities to engage in discussions and express themselves in their new language, in order to maintain fluency in it.

 

Although learning a language may not seem very rewarding or satisfying at first, I personally think that it is only through communication that we will actually be able to evolve and grow as individuals. Nowadays, the world has become a sort of modern Pangea that’s all connected. Why not take on the adventure of understanding one another? 

Here’s a Novel Idea: Check Out the Library

I recently discovered this thing called a “library” where they just let you borrow books for
free, and let me tell you, it’s amazing.

For real, though, I’ve been on a library kick recently and can’t recommend it highly enough.
There are lots of books I’ve heard good things about, but sometimes I’m just not sure I want to
commit to buying them and setting aside shelf space for them. Enter the library.

 LogicPrep São Paulo's library

LogicPrep São Paulo's library

I’ve read about two dozen library books in the past year -- novels, short story collections, non-fiction -- that I probably never would have read otherwise. Some of them I’ve researched on
“Best Of” lists, some of them have been staff picks, and some of them have just had interesting
or eye-catching covers. Some of them have been amazing, and some underwhelming. But all of
them have been worthwhile.

We often stress the importance of reading to our students -- it expands vocabularies, highlights effective communication of ideas, and introduces new perspectives. And these are all true! But you can’t read if you don’t have a book, and what I’ve found is that swinging by the library and grabbing something off the shelves increases the chances that in my downtime, I’ll read a few pages of whatever’s on hand rather than scroll through my phone.

So whether it’s your school’s library or your local public library (or even the LogicPrep Library-- available in São Paulo and coming soon to Miami!), I encourage you to stop by and grab whatever catches your eye. It makes it much more likely that you’ll reap the benefits of
reading.

Plus, they don’t even charge you!

The International ACT Goes Digital - For Real (...We Think)

The ACT has talked about it forever, but it looks like it’s finally happening -- starting in September 2018, the ACT will be completely computer-based for students outside the US.

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At least, all signs point that way. The ACT still hasn’t put out an official press release on the matter, but it did recently post a set of Frequently Asked Questions for international students, parents, and counselors. According to that document (posted in March 2018), “the first administration of the computer-based ACT to international examinees is planned for September 2018.”

Further specifics about the computer-based test can be difficult to find through the ACT’s website, so we did some background research for you to answer some of the questions you might have as test-takers:

So wait - you mean the paper ACT won’t be offered internationally anymore?

That’s right. If the ACT rolls out international computer-based testing as planned, the paper test will no longer be available internationally after the September 2018 launch.

But don’t panic! Aside from the administration format, the test itself will still be the same test that you know and love (well… the same test that you know, at least). The content will be the same, the sections will be the same, the scoring will be the same, the score reporting process will be the same, the timing will likely be the same…

Wait, wait - what do you mean the timing will likely be the same?

The FAQs state that the “ACT is currently conducting research studies. At this time, it is not anticipated that there will be a significant change in testing times.” The ACT seems reluctant to say anything definitively, but a representative that I spoke with on the phone expressed the same sentiment as the document. They’re not making promises, but they suggest that timing will probably be the same as what you’re used to from the paper test.

Okay, okay - so how is the ACT going to look?

It gets a little tricky here. The ACT’s own resources point to two different websites for you to test out sample testing interfaces.

  1. ACT® Academy™ (which is referred to in the FAQ document), has a pretty simple view with not too many bells and whistles. The screen is split into two sides - the left shows the passage and the right shows the question (or, in the case of the Math section, the left shows the question and the right shows the answer choices). You can select your answer choice or skip to move on to the next question, but that’s pretty much all the interface has to offer.
  2. TestNav, on the other hand, which the ACT refers to on its Online Testing Information for Examinees, has a lot more tools for test takers. The general view shows you not only what question you’re on out of how many questions in total, but also how much time is left. There’s also a five-minute warning that pops up right on your computer screen, so you don’t have to worry about your proctor forgetting to give you a heads up when the section is almost over. You can skip questions, bookmark ones to come back to, and pull up a Review Questions view that allow you to easily go back to those dúvidas before time is up.
    Some other cool tools on the TestNav interface include an answer choice eliminator (which allows you to cross off answers that you know are incorrect), an answer masker (which allows you to hide the answer choices when reading the question), a line reader (which allows you to display only one line of text at a time), and a magnifier (which allows you to - you guessed it - magnify the text or figure within the magnifying window). In the English and Reading section, questions that refer to specific lines also highlight the relevant text in the passage, making it easier for you to find and go back to that information.

So which site is more similar to the one that you’ll see in September? The representative I spoke with informed me that that ACT was still “putting the final touches” on the test-taking interface for students and that it would release more information about what the actual format looks like (along with practice resources for students) “later in the summer.” So basically, stay tuned until more information is released.

What does this mean for me as a test taker?

Well, some of your strategies will need to change. You won’t be able to write on the physical test, for one, which can make the Reading and the Science passages harder (since you can’t underline the text or draw on the tables and figures). It’ll also be slightly more difficult to scan through questions in a given passage to quickly identify which ones look easy or which ones have line references since each question is displayed individually. That means that any strategies involving the order in which you answer the questions may be somewhat less valuable time-savers than they would be on the paper test.

On the other hand, there are some things that the computer-based test might actually help you with. I find that some of my math students are more accurate when I put math problems on the screen and ask the students to solve using either the table or scratch paper in front of them. These students actually end up writing out more of their work when the question is on a surface they can’t write on, which leads them to make fewer careless mistakes. The lesson to learn here is to use your scratch paper - a lot.

The Writing (aka Essay) section is another section where the computer-based format will actually be helpful. I know that most of you reading are with me in that you also type significantly faster than you write on paper, so timing will probably be less of an issue with the computer-based test. As far as other features go (such as the ability to cut and paste text from one section of your essay to another)… they might be available to you, but don’t count on them. The ACT representative I spoke with seemed to think that the word processor in the testing interface would not include these abilities, but I know that other standardized computer-based tests, such as the GRE, do. If I were to venture a guess, I wouldn’t be surprised if the ACT were to follow suit.

Long story short, when you take the ACT on a computer screen, some things will be easier and some will be harder -- practice will help you to smooth out the challenges. I had some experience with computer-based standardized tests when I took the GRE a few years ago. I definitely found some things frustrating - like not being able to mark up the physical test - but with practice, you do learn to adjust.

So how do I practice? 

Number 1 - keep doing the paper tests. The most important thing about the test - the content - is not changing, and all the same preparation you’ve done (and will do) on paper will still be relevant to the new format.

Once the ACT finalizes the computer-based format, it promises to “provide a tutorial and practice questions” in the style of the real test. Like I said before, this will probably be released in late June or July, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, the ACT does have some practice resources you can play around with -- they just might not be the exact format that you’ll see in September. The ones I mentioned before -- ACT® Academy™ and TestNav -- are free, and there’s also ACT Online Prep, which is available for purchase through the ACT website.

And rest assured -- we’ve got you covered. Those of you who have already worked with LogicPrep know that we have always been dedicated to the continuous development our proprietary software to support our students’ growth. We’re already in the process of investigating how we can augment our current software capabilities to provide students with the experience of a computer-based practice test, especially in the weeks immediately before an official exam.

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Are there any other implications? 

Yes. First of all, register early. At least in the first year, the ACT will not allow students to bring in their own laptops to use for the test. This means that testing centers will have to limit the available seats based on how many computers they have for students to use. The ACT promises to use a combination of existing test centers and new commercial testing centers to meet demand, but to ensure that you have a seat at your desired testing center, we recommend that you sign up as soon as registration opens in July.

The flipside of the potentially limited seats on a given test date is that there will likely be more test dates to choose from. Currently, there are five international test dates, with one in September, October, December, April, and June. With the switch to computer-based testing, there could be as many as six testing windows (in September, October, December, February, April, and June) with four test sessions for in each (Friday morning, Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon). It’s not clear whether you can select your preferred time, and the ACT has not promised that all sessions will be available at all testing centers, but one way or another, there will likely be more than five sessions opening for registration in July.

Another implication - this one’s a good one - is that you’ll get your scores sooner! Multiple choice scores will be delivered as early as 2-3 days after the exam, so no more agonizing waits of 3+ weeks for your results!

Phew - that’s a lot of information. Let’s recap!

tl;dr (parents, this stands for “too long; didn’t read”)

  • DON’T panic. The content of the test (which is the part you need to study) is staying the same. The computer-based format will make some things easier and some things harder-- but you’ll adjust with practice.

  • However, if you’re applying at the end of 2018, DO try to get your ACT out of the way before the change, if possible. If you can avoid having to rework some of the strategies that you’ve practiced with the paper-based test, you’ll have one less thing to worry about in September.

  • If you are taking the test in September, sign up EARLY once registration opens in July. Testing centers will probably be switching around a little bit, and you’ll want to make sure you get a seat reserved in your preferred location!

  • Finally, stay tuned. There’s a lot of information that the ACT still hasn’t released, and more will definitely be reported later this summer (i.e. June/July). Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted, and as always, we’ll be prepared to support you through all the changes in the test-prep world.