ACT cancels December & February international exams: what to do next

ACT announced yesterday that all December 2020 and February 2021 international administrations have been cancelled.

According to an ACT spokesperson, ACT made this decision because "going into the winter, it is likely there will be school closures and restrictions internationally due to flu season and a potential COVID-19 resurgence at international locations. We are anticipating and planning for these likely scenarios."

In the meantime, the September and October international administrations will move forward as planned, which means many class of 2021 students will not be affected by the latest announcement.

Students registered for December or February now have time to think about their next steps and adjust their plans. If you were registered for one of these exams, you should have received an email notifying you of your options to change your test date or request a refund.

What to do next

Students who were planning to test in December or February should talk to their counselors right away about the next steps that make sense for their situations. Every student’s circumstances will be unique, involving their goal scores, universities they're considering, school circumstances, and other factors.

You can consider the following options in your conversations with your counselor.

  1. Plan to test in April.
    • If you have not yet started prepping for the ACT, you can wait until January or February to start actively studying. Take a diagnostic exam in November/December to see how far you are from your goals, and use that data to determine how much you need to prep.
    • If you have already begun prepping for the ACT, you may want to pause your test prep until late January or early February so that you can avoid burnout and focus on having a strong start to the school year.
  2. Test in October. If you’ve been prepping for a while already or you need scores by the end of the year, you can move up your test date.
    • If you were already registered for December or February, ACT will let you change your test date, free of charge.
    • For all other students, the October registration deadline is September 18, but if cancellations continue, it is possible ACT may allow students to register as late as October 2 with the late fee waived (as it has done for recent administrations).
  3. Consider switching to the SAT. If the April test date doesn’t work for you and you were hoping to complete your standardized testing sooner, it may make sense to aim for the December 5 or March 13 SAT instead.
    • Although the structure and pacing of the exams are different, about 80% of the content overlaps between the ACT and SAT. If you've been preparing for one exam, you've built a foundation for both.

Need more individualized advice?

The recommendations above are general suggestions. If you have specific questions, reach out to our experts here. We’re happy to help in any way we can.


About ArborBridge

ArborBridge is the global leader in innovative, digital, one-on-one tutoring. With nearly a decade of experience teaching students online, ArborBridge supports students of all kinds: home schoolers, AP students, test preppers, and more. Our tutors specialize in creating personalized plans and in providing compassionate support for students and families.

Erin Ohsie-Frauenhofer

About Erin Ohsie-Frauenhofer

As one of the highest-performing tutors in ArborBridge’s history, Erin coaches tutors and develops tools and trainings to disrupt old habits and empower new strengths. With a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University, Erin worked as a classroom teacher and student services director prior to joining ArborBridge in 2017. Her decade of success as an educator has prepared her to ensure that programs are tailored to individual students’ needs.

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