When Should You Take the SAT or ACT? This question is probably on the mind of every high school student who plans to go to college. The answer is not straightforward because it depends on a few factors, including academic readiness and college application deadlines.
But generally speaking, some guidelines can help you decide when to take these standardized tests. Firstly, consider your academic strengths and weaknesses.
For example, if you’re strong in math but struggle with reading comprehension, you may want to take the SAT instead of the ACT. Conversely, if science is your forte, but math isn’t your cup of tea, then the ACT might be better for you. Secondly, consider what kind of colleges you plan to apply to and their deadlines.
When Should You Take the SAT or ACT?
1. What’s Important about ACT Test Dates
The ACT is offered six times a year in February, April, June, July, September, and October. The July test date is only available in some states. It’s essential to remember that the ACT is not offered in New York or California in February, and it’s not provided in New York in July.
It’s recommended that students take the ACT in their junior year of high school, and if they need to retake the test, they can do so in their senior year. It’s important to note that some colleges and universities may require students to take the ACT with Writing, a 40-minute essay section.
2. What’s Important about SAT Test Dates
The SAT is also offered seven times yearly, in September, October, December, February, April, June, and July. It’s important to note that the SAT is not shown in New York or California in March.
Students are recommended to take the SAT in their junior year of high school, and if they need to retake the test, they can do so in their senior year. Unlike the ACT, the SAT has no required essay section, but some colleges and universities may still need it.
3. Choosing Your Best Test Dates
When choosing test dates, it’s essential to remember that students should give themselves enough time to prepare for the test. It’s recommended that students start preparing for the SAT or ACT at least three months before their chosen test date.
This gives them enough time to study, take practice tests, and identify areas where they need improvement.
It’s also important to consider the timing of the tests about other commitments, such as school, extracurricular activities, and work. Students should choose a test date to balance their other responsibilities while giving them enough time to prepare for the test.
4. How Many Times Should You Take the ACT and SAT?
Students can take the ACT and SAT as often as they want. However, it’s essential to remember that some colleges and universities may consider all of a student’s test scores when making admissions decisions.
It’s recommended that students take the test no more than three times, as taking it more than that may not result in significant score improvement. Students should also remember that each test has a fee, so taking it too many times can become expensive.
5. How to Build the right prep plan for you
Preparing for the SAT or ACT requires a personalized plan considering each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Some students may benefit from a structured prep course, while others prefer to study independently using books and online resources.
It’s essential to identify areas where improvement is needed and focus on those areas. This can be done by taking practice tests and reviewing the results to identify weak areas. Students should also make sure they are familiar with the format and timing of the trial so that they can manage their time effectively on test day.
choosing the correct test date for the SAT or ACT is essential for students who want to maximize their chances of admission to college or university. Students should give themselves enough time to prepare and choose a test date that allows them to balance other commitments. By building a personalized prep plan and identifying areas where improvement is needed, students can increase their chances of success on the test.