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When is the Best Time for Juniors to Take the ACT or SAT?

By November 5, 2019 No Comments

Student taking a test

When is the Best Time to Take the ACT or SAT?

The best time to take the ACT or SAT is a student’s junior year. Beginning the test preparation process during a student’s junior year provides them with several opportunities to improve their scores if the first test does not go as well as expected. When choosing a test date, students should select a date that provides them sufficient time to prepare. We recommend that students begin studying for their test approximately 8-10 weeks before the test date.

SAT & ACT Tests

Most students who take the ACT and SAT take the test multiple times. While some juniors begin preparing over the summer to take their first SAT or ACT in the fall, most juniors will be taking their tests in the winter or spring. Multiple factors can affect when students should plan to take their exams. Given the majority of math sections on the ACT and the SAT are comprised of Algebra II curriculum, it is often suggested that students currently in Algebra II wait until later in the school year to start test prep. For these students in particular, the February and April ACT dates or March and May SAT dates may be a better option. However, if a student plans to take AP exams during May, they may want to avoid the May SAT to help spread out their test preparation efforts. The June SAT or June and July ACT dates are often a retest date for students that provides them with a bit more time to study as the school year has likely come to a close a few weeks ahead of the test date. Lastly, recruited student-athletes may want to consider taking these tests slightly earlier than other students to be able to provide prospecting colleges with official score reports. When in doubt, please contact us to discuss your student’s specific needs and goals.

SAT Subject Tests

If a student is planning to take an SAT subject test, they should plan to take it soon after completing their commensurate AP/IB curriculum to ensure their subject knowledge remains fresh. For the vast majority of students, this means they will take their SAT subject tests in May or June. Students can register for up to three subject tests on a single testing day. While the subject tests are offered on several test dates, not all subjects are offered on every test date. For example, the foreign language with listening tests are only offered in May.

Upcoming Test Dates

Test Date Test Registration Late Registration Scores Available
December 7, 2019 SAT & SAT Subject Tests November 8, 2019 November 26, 2019 December 20-26, 2019
December 14, 2019 ACT November 8, 2019 November 22, 2019 December 24, 2019-January 7, 2019
February 8, 2020 ACT January 10, 2020 January 17, 2020 February 19-March 4, 2020
March 14, 2020 SAT February 14, 2020 March 3, 2020 March 27-April 2, 2020
April 4, 2020 ACT February 28, 2020 March 13, 2020 April 14-28, 2020
May 2, 2020 SAT & SAT Subject Tests April 3, 2020 April 21, 2020 May 15-21, 2020
June 6, 2020 SAT & SAT Subject Tests May 8, 2020 May 27, 2020 July 15, 2020
June 13, 2020 ACT May 8, 2020 May 22, 2020 June 23-July 7, 2020
July 18, 2020 ACT June 19, 2020 June 26, 2020 August 2020