When Should I Take the SAT?


Traditionally, students take the SAT in the spring as a junior. In my opinion, they have waited too long. The problem is that, if they don’t get their desired score, they need to re-take the test in the fall of their senior year. By then, they’ve missed early admissions and scholarship advantages. More importantly, they are usually under intense pressure, which can undermine getting an improved score.

My students prep in the FALL of their JUNIOR year. As long as they’ve taken Geometry, they should be ready for the coursework. They do not need to wait until they have completed Algebra II. If they have good instruction, they can capitalize on tips and strategies that ensure they get a solid score regardless.

My students take the OCTOBER exam, not the November exam. They take it in October so they can get their initial scores back and then they ‘hyper-prep’ for the December exam. They should be able to get their best score between the two test dates and be finished before the New Year.

My students decide if and when they want to take the ACT. More and more students are opting to take the ACT. Colleges are accepting ACT scores almost as readily as SAT scores. I predict that the transition will be complete after the “new and improved” 2016 exam is administered. In fact, the very reason The College Board is revamping their test is largely because of the competition the ACT has posed. The changes may seem beneficial to students but this remains to be proven. Students can select an ACT option in the spring of their junior year and then start the application process before the prom.

In summary, fall of junior year is the best time to take the SAT. Whether students take the SAT or ACT, prep is essential for them to get the best score possible. Individualized instruction with an experienced, dedicated professional will provide the guidance they need to succeed. When students complete their course work in the beginning of their junior year, they have the incredible advantage of being prepared well before their peers and then they can better negotiate the college application process.