Tag Archives: test dates

I recently had a chance to speak on the Your Daily Scholarship podcast with scholarship expert Dave Peterson about a topic close to my heart. For nearly thirty years now, I’ve been counseling families on managing different aspects of college admissions and have encountered the same issues over and over again. One of the most detrimental yet easily avoidable mistakes in putting together a competitive college application is waiting too long to address certain influential elements. Consider these five tips before or during but definitely not after junior year if you can: 1. Select Classes Carefully Academic rigor matters, but don’t take on the toughest classes you can just because you have Ivy League aspirations. Make sure you commit to honors classes you are truly interested in, or else you’ll be spending hours a week regretting your choices. By the same token, make sure you think about all the classes…

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For high schoolers, the academic year roars in with early opportunities to take the SAT & ACT. October no longer serves as the first chance to take either test–those honors accrue to the August SAT and September ACT. However, the month of fall foliage and Halloween treats is still one of the best times to take either test. What’s so great about October, besides pumpkin spice lattes? Classes haven’t really ramped up yet so early in the school year, which affords busy students a bit of breathing room to prep for the big tests. Most extracurricular activities, with the notable exception of fall sports, are equally slow to start. Thus, students can actually focus on the tests in October. However, other important benefits sweeten the deal for October: SENIORS, even those late to the college admissions party, enter October feeling the pressure to finalize applications. The October SAT dates is…

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Teens may not like the idea of taking the SAT, but at least they have plenty of options in terms of when they actually have to drag themselves to a testing center. The College Board administers the SAT from the beginning of the school year until its end, typically in October, November, December, March, May, and June. We’ve even had an August test since 2017. The conventional wisdom suggests that students sit for the SAT (and ACT) in the spring of junior year and, if needed, the fall of senior year. High schoolers who follow this dubious advice flock to the May and June dates in the spring, then inevitably test again in October and November. December has typically been the test date for very late seniors and very early juniors. After watching students struggle through the college admissions process for over twenty years, I’ve seen how the traditional testing…

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A full academic year lasts a long time, unless you are a student, teacher, or faculty member, in which case it lasts a REALLY 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…

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The standard school year feels like a long slog, where students begin knowing very little in certain subjects and finish fearing that they’ve learned little more over seven or eight months of instruction. All those culminating exams from finals, APs, and state tests to the SAT and ACT may feel like obstacles in the way of a lovely summer break, but they actually represent critical opportunities to lock in learning and prove that a long year of study was not spent in vain. June is here. Crush the SAT, ACT, and every other test in your way. On the other side lies a long summer with plenty of time to rest, play, and prepare for future challenges!

Once you decide whether you’ll take the SAT or ACT for college admissions and scholarship purposes (you probably should), you’ll need to make critical decisions about timelines for prep and testing. My Tests and the Rest podcast partner Amy Seeley and I invited Chariot Learning’s own Jim Reinish to answer the age-old question: “When should you take the SAT or ACT?” I enjoyed this discussion of one of my favorite topics with two of my favorite educators and know that you will too. What are five things you will learn in this episode? When should high schoolers plan to prep for and take the SAT and/or ACT? How do current testing timelines differ from the old testing paradigm? What academic considerations influence testing timelines? What scheduling challenges should be considered during test planning? What personality traits in test takers need to be taken into account? For more links, resources, and…

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