Do NOT Download the New 2017-2018 ACT Practice Test!
NOTE: I initially considered calling this post The Natives are Testless. But I was concerned that a pun would undermine the professionalism of the post. As you'll see, I settled on a very different approach.
Stock photos are amazing. Take this one, for example. It so perfectly communicates how I feel as I type "The folks at ACT have just re-released Practice Test 1572C-PRE as the 2017-2018 Practice ACT test."
What's going on at ACT?
How is it possible that nobody has pointed out to ACT that the College Board's decision to release 8 full-length practice tests has helped mobilize a volunteer marketing force in the form of test prep tutors?
18-months ago, it really felt like ACT had all the momentum, but now College Board and the SAT seem to have righted the ship. In the time since then, College Board has locked up a few state contracts, largely avoided controversy, and provided tutors and students around the world with eight practice SAT tests. That quantity of test prep materials is sufficient for most students who are interested in casually preparing for the SAT.
ACT, on the other hand, has just re-released the same test it re-released last year.
And this comes on the heels of ACT's genuinely perplexing decision to re-release the same inadequate test prep book it had previously released only a few months after re-releasing the previous edition with a new cover.
Make sense? Of course not.
You should be! But let's just suppose that you're not completely baffled by the ACT's seeming lack of a game plan. Let's take another look, so to speak, at the important facts of the matter:
1. You're doing it wrong.
2. Take another look at this image.
The emotions you're now experiencing are the direct result of a publisher — me in this case — making very questionable decisions.
Questionable Editing Decisions from ACT
In my case, we're talking about my seemingly inexplicable decision to repeatedly assault your senses with the same image of an angry clown. Sure, there are some clues that maybe you missed something. But you didn't. It's a waste of time to look for a method to the madness.
He's on the PHONE! That's got to mean something, right?
No. It doesn't.
The WRIST WATCH! That must...
He's wearing a suit. And that festive hat! This is a clown who cares about his appearance. That means he —
I'm going to go ahead and interrupt you. That might just be the hat he wears on Casual Friday.
It's not Friday. Is it..?
Doesn't matter. It is and it isn't. Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody's gonna --
Whoa! That took a turn!
Yeah. That got pretty dark. I'll probably edit that last part out -- or not! Whichever I decide makes less sense.
To be clear, there is no deeper meaning in the picture. That's why I chose it. It's just a tool for me to express my frustration with the actions of the ACT -- actions I'm tempted to describe as "cray-cray."
How else can one explain ACT's seeming indifference to the needs of its students and the professional educators who work tirelessly to serve those needs? Cray-cray seems pretty apt. Remember, we're talking about a whole series of bizarre moves on the part of ACT.
Weird Move, ACT.
Take, for example, ACT's 2016 decision to release very slightly modified versions of previously released tests. Weird move, right? The immediate result of the move was to confuse students who suddenly came across familiar problems in the middle of a "new" ACT test. Naturally, this made the new tests mostly useless to test prep professionals.
ACT Gets Even... But Not Really
Then there was that time ACT responded to College Board's partnership with Khan Academy by partnering with Kaplan — a for-profit test prep company. I think we can all agree that came across like a text message from an ex: "Oh yeah?! Well, guess who I'm taking to prom! Kaplan Test Prep. That's who. And yeah, this metaphor makes no sense. Like, why am I explaining all of this in my text message?! I have no idea! This is basically Inception."
Starting to get a general sense of confusion and unease?
Still nothing? Maybe this will help.
Now how are you feeling?
Bewildered? That's good. Irritated? You're coming around. A little scared? That's perfectly normal. Once you've caught your breath, you can download the new ACT practice test here — if for some reason you want it. Maybe you're just looking to click on something — anything — to avoid staring at those deranged clown eyes.
Totally reasonable. Here you go: New Practice ACT Test!
Enjoy your redundant download! Remember to save it with a different file name! Or use the same name, since it's the SAME TEST!!
In fact, why don't you just go ahead and download the "new" practice ACT Test again using this link? Might as well, right?
One more for good measure? You got it!
Honestly, I'm not sure why you would keep clicking all these links. But who knows. Maybe you're one of those weird "completionists" who feels compelled to purchase every single album a mediocre band puts out, even though most of the songs are awful.
Be honest. You're thinking of KISS right now, aren't you?
How did you know that?!
The clown make-up. I just INCEPTIONED you!
That's a thing?!
How are you still talking?
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. And had I taken the time to edit the post, I imagine that would have been fun too! Speaking of things I actually did edit, check out our sample ACT curriculum!
Click the link to download a free sample. Or contact us and we'll probably send you a full workbook to check out.