Who knew ACT registration would be the hardest part of the ACT for me? All of our test prep tutors take an ACT or SAT each year so they can feel the same awkwardness, anxiety, and discomfort that our students feel, but also so we can find out and prepare our students for everything that could go wrong on test day.
What if there’s crazy Saturday morning traffic?
What if you show up and your name isn’t on the list?
What if you forget your calculator?
What if the A/C or heating at the test site isn’t working?
What do you do if you aren’t feeling well?
I decided to step up to the plate first, and I was lucky enough to find a pitfall even before I tested: ACT registration!
The ACT Registration Mistake
I dutifully signed up for the February 6th, 2016 ACT on November 26th, 2015, well before the January 8th deadline and January 15th late deadline. (Current ACT Deadlines)
When I went to print off my test ticket (required for check-in), the page shouted at me
YOUR ACT REGISTRATION HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
Reason: I hadn’t uploaded a picture to the ACT student login by the photo deadline of January 29th.
Could I test standby? Nope, the deadline to request standby testing was also January 29th.
You will not test. No exceptions. No refunds
They had to have given me notice, right??? Sure enough, there were five emails from ACT in my spam folder:
Jan 6 – “You must submit an Acceptable Photo for ACT Test.”
Jan 19 – “REMINDER: You must submit an Acceptable Photo for ACT Test.”
Jan 25 – “CRITICAL: Without an Acceptable Photo your ACT Registration will be Cancelled.”
Jan 28 – “Your ACT Registration will be Cancelled on January 29, 2016.”
Jan 30 – “Your Test Registration has been cancelled – FEBRUARY 2016 NATIONAL ACT.”
I’ve sent 200+ students [update: way more now] to take the ACT who’ve dealt with a variety of oopses (sleeping through the test, showing up at the wrong test site, forgetting materials, etc.), but not once has a student been DQed for not uploading a picture [update: it’s happened since first publication]. I suppose their moms take care of it for them, and apparently my mommy is too busy entertaining her grandchildren to keep track of her adult son’s deadlines!
If the assignment was to find everything that could possibly go wrong for an ACT, I got an A+.
Long story short, I re-registered and will take the ACT on April 9th [update: perfect score!].