Tag Archives: test dates

Thanks to an expanded calendar, test takers can sit for the SAT or ACT (or sometimes even both exams) nearly every month of the year. This plethora of options combined with the high stakes nature of the exams invites a certain level of gamesmanship. If every other aspect of the test experience can be optimized, some people wonder, perhaps the actual month an exam is administered can accrue an advantage to a strategic test taker. Consequently, rumors regarding the relative difficulties of different test dates circulate around the fringes of formal test prep, occupying an intellectual dark web of testing conjecture and voodoo. Is there any truth to this persistent idea that some SAT or ACT test dates might be easier than others? The simple answer is both no and yes, but the devil, as they say, is in the details. As we know, the test makers shoulder the Herculean…

Read more

While high schoolers can take either the SAT or the ACT just about any month of the year, certain test dates work better than others for certain groups of students. For example, any rising junior or senior who can prep over the summer benefits from the August SAT and September ACT. On the other hand, AP students should assiduously avoid taking the SAT offered in May. As far as advantages and disadvantages go, the November administration of the SAT seems surprisingly neutral. November isn’t an amazing time to take the SAT, but it’s not horrible either. Who might choose to take the SAT this month? SENIORS who haven’t gotten serious about their college applications by now should shift into high gear, even if they missed their shot at Early Action or Early Decision applications. Any 12th grader still striving for a higher SAT score cannot afford to dismiss November. JUNIORS…

Read more

For generations, college-bound teens were forced to restrict college admissions testing to the same months they had to endure academic testing, which is to say during the school year. The dream of tackling the SAT & ACT during the months that school was out remained merely a fantasy until recently. Today, most–but not all–students have open access to summer testing. College Board claimed late summer, with a very convenient and popular test towards the end of August. The folks at ACT, on the other hand, chose mid-July. Did they choose wisely? The suitability of this test date depends heavily on where a prospective test taker goes to school. Certain parts of the United States see school end in May, while other regions extend the academic year (at least for public schools) into late June. Students with the opportunity to prepare for six or more weeks unburdened by other academic obligations…

Read more

The old paradigm dictated that juniors should try the SAT or ACT at the end of junior year, then prep and test again in senior year if needed. However, experience has revealed the many flaws in that approach. Modern high schoolers, particularly the most competitive and engaged students, find more value in taking the tests as early in junior year as makes sense based on their goals and extracurricular schedule. May, you may have noticed, is not early in junior year. Due to the abundant priorities and commitments May dumps on the collective 11th grade doorstep–everything from AP exams and SAT Subject Tests to prom and spring activities–this month is less than optimal for students looking for their best SAT scores. Then again, May does offer two big benefits: 1. Students who took Algebra 2 in 11th grade have learned more or all of what the SAT tests. 2. May…

Read more

The school year–especially if you are a student, teacher, or faculty member–lasts a long, long time. From the end of one summer to the beginning of the next, high schoolers navigate an obstacle course of exams, projects, papers, and extracurricular commitments, punctuated by the occasional day or week off. Success on big tests like the ACT depends in part on scheduling preparation and testing during the less frenetic months in a student’s schedule. That’s what makes the February ACT so attractive. What really goes on in January? In my part of the country, students take midterms in January, but those tests don’t trigger anywhere near the stress of finals, APs, or state tests in the spring. Certain sports obviously run through the winter months. However, an ironic advantage of winter sports is that practices are rarely rescheduled for inclement weather in the way fall and winter outdoor athletes struggle with.…

Read more

If you’re planning on taking the SAT or ACT in 2019, you’re in luck; tests are offered almost every month of the year. Picking the right date—and prepping for it–demands advance planning. But failure to plan typically leads to lots of stress and minimal success. So which test dates should you target? February 9, 2019 – ACT — This is generally a good test to target, especially now that the February ACT is offered in New York. March 9, 2019 – SAT — March can be an excellent time for juniors to take the SAT. April 13, 2019 – ACT — April can be an excellent test for juniors to target and one of the most popular of the year. May 4, 2019 – SAT — AP students have other priorities in May, so this may be a better date for SAT Subject Tests. June 1, 2019 – SAT June…

Read more

12/19