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|