Lack of ACT Seats Anger Students


You’ve been preparing for the ACT for months but when it finally comes to the day to sign up, seats are full! But how does that make any sense? Seats became available just a few days ago. Are there any other test centers in Taipei? Will I still be able to take the test?
But there is one big question that many of us are asking: shouldn’t we be at the front of the queue?
Vincent Huang (12) thinks we should. “I may sound a little bit selfish for saying this, but I believe that the TAS test center should prioritize TAS students. This obviously puts the other high school students at a disadvantage, but at the end of the day it is still our parents who are paying for our tuition and we should have priority at our school.”
ACT, short for American College Testing, tests students in Reading, Math, Science, and English, with an optional Writing test.
Ms. Guzman, our college counselor, has the difficult task of coordinating and organizing tests like the ACT and the SAT at TAS. “We’re an open test site and the only testing center in Taipei, so people from all over the island come to take their test here,” says Ms. Guzman.
In fact, there are even students from mainland China and other places off the island who have signed up for the test here. “Unfortunately, it’s not something TAS has control over. It is an ACT issue that we’ve been trying to bring attention to,” Ms. Guzman explains.
Seats become available for sign-up over the summer.
Vincent tried to sign up for the September ACT but there weren’t any seats left at the TAS test center. He was outraged. “I was like ‘What? How is this possible?’ That had never happened when I signed up for the SAT.”
Ms. Guzman informs us that the September and October tests are already full but information about other test dates have not been released yet.
So what to do? Obviously, you should sign up early. “You could also write a letter to the ACT to explain the situation and hope that somehow they will read and actually take your letter seriously,” Vincent suggests.
There are three tests this semester and one next semester: September 13, October 25, December 13, and April 18. According to Ms. Guzman, “only 13 percent of the students who will test here are TAS students.”
There is nothing really the school can do because ACT does not allow a closed test site, meaning we cannot make the seats exclusive to TAS students. “There is no good way to fix this right now but we are trying to work with ACT for additional spots,” said Ms. Guzman.
For now, TAS students can only take the test elsewhere on the island or wait for the December and April tests. According to Ms. Guzman, “We have expanded the test once, and we will try to expand the test again.”