When Should I Take the SAT or ACT?

Did you know that about 85 percent of colleges require that you take the SAT or ACT to be considered for admissions? If you are in the process of college planning and know that you will be applying for a 4-year college or university in the near future, it is time to start preparing to take standardized tests. Standardized test scores can help colleges determine whether or not you are academically prepared to complete college level coursework. While many colleges do not put all of the weight of the application on this score, the score can be a significant factor when it is above average. Read on, and find out the best time to take your SAT or ACT so you don’t have trouble submitting your application on time.

When The Test Is Being Given?

The first step to scheduling your SAT or ACT test date is if to find out when the tests are being offered nationally. If you are planning to take to the SAT, you can register to test in one of seven months. The SAT is offered in October, November, December, January, March, May, and June. The ACT is not offered every month that the SAT is. If you would like to take the ACT, you will need to sit for the exam in October, December, February, April or June. You must fill out your application to register for either exam at least five weeks in advance. By doing this, you will get a test date in the month that you would like to test.

When In Your High School Career is the Right Time to Test?

You must be sure that you are academically prepared to take either test before you register. Some students, who take a more advanced curriculum, will be prepared earlier on in their high school career to take the ACT or the SAT. Other students should wait until they have completed more of their coursework so they are comfortable with the test sections and content. It is possible for you to take a practice SAT or ACT exam for preparatory purposes when you are a sophomore.

If you are taking advanced placement classes, you should make sure to schedule the subject test as soon as you complete the course so that the material is fresh in your mind (please see: Do Colleges Give Academic Credit For AP/IB High School Courses?). A majority of high school students choose to take the SAT or ACT tests in the summer before their junior year or in the beginning of their junior year starting in October. By doing this, students have plenty of time to complete applications without being stressed. Stress can always affect your scores.

Can You Test Your Senior Year?

It is not advisable to wait until your senior year to register for the SAT exam. By waiting this long, you may have to rush to fill out and complete your applications by the common December deadline. If you do wait, you should have the test done by October so that you have time to submit your applications.

Applying for college can be a very stressful period of time. You may worry about testing, deadlines, housing, relocating, and starting life as an independent individual. To make the process less stressful, prepare for your tests and register early. By choosing to take the SAT or ACT early, you can check a difficult part of applying for colleges off of your list and focus on your senior year.