SAT

In the last blog, we talked about questions to consider when planning your SAT and ACT test dates and preparation for those tests during junior and senior year.  You can check out those questions here.  Now that you know what to consider, it’s time to put that schedule on paper.  Below are two sample schedules.

General Schedule: This is a good general schedule for most students.

  1. Summer Before Junior Year: Take a practice SAT and ACT.  Decide which test is showcasing your strengths and begin preparing for that test.
  2. Summer Before Junior Year and Fall of Junior Year: Begin preparing for the test of your choice.  Start with a review of content that you will see on the test.  Then, focus on timed sections to work on pacing and test-taking.
  3. Fall of Junior Year: The PSAT is given in October.  This is good practice at taking a standardized test.  Keep in mind that scores and results will not come back until late December or early January.
  4. Winter of Junior Year: For the ACT, try your first test in December.  For the SAT, try your first test in January. Order a copy of your test questions and answers.
  5.  Spring of Junior Year: Scores will be released.  Use the score report and your questions and answers from test 1 to determine areas that still need some review.  Continue preparing for test 2.
  6. Spring of Junior Year: For the ACT, take the April test.  For the SAT, take May.  Again, you can order your questions and answers back on these dates.  You can order after you receive your scores.  This way, if you have reached your goal, you won’t need to waste money ordering.  If you haven’t reached your goal, you can order your test booklet to help you review during the summer.
  7. Summer Before Senior Year: If you have not reached your goal based on the schools in which you plan to apply, continue to prep during the summer.
  8. Fall of Senior Year: For the ACT, take the September or October test administrations.  For the SAT, take October.  This way, you can be finished with testing and focus solely on college applications in the winter.

 

Schedule for Students Applying to Highly Competitive Schools: This is a slightly modified and accelerated schedule for students that will need to take SAT II: Subject Tests during junior year.

  1. Summer Before Junior Year: Take a practice SAT and ACT.  Decide which test is showcasing your strengths and begin preparing for that test.
  2. Summer Before Junior Year and Fall of Junior Year: Begin preparing for the test of your choice.  For advanced students, I recommend getting a lot of the prep done during the summer since the school year tends to be busy with advanced coursework.
  3. Fall of Junior Year: The PSAT is given in October.  Not only is this good practice but it also qualifies students for the National Merit Scholarship.  For this reason, it is worth putting some work into preparing for the PSAT even if you are planning to take the ACT.
  4. Fall/Winter of Junior Year: For the ACT, try your first test in December.  For the SAT, try your first test in October, November, or December. Order a copy of your test questions and answers, if available.
  5.  Winter of Junior Year: Scores will be released.  Use the score report and your questions and answers from test 1 to determine areas that still need some review.  Continue preparing for test 2.
  6. Winter/Spring of Junior Year: For the ACT, take the April test.  For the SAT, take January or March.  Again, you can order your questions and answers back on the April ACT and the January SAT.  You can order after you receive your scores.  This way, if you have reached your goal, you won’t need to waste money ordering.  If you haven’t reached your goal, you can order your test booklet to help you review during the summer.
  7. Spring of Junior Year: Take the SAT II Subject Tests in May or June.  You may take up to 3 tests on the same date.
  8. Summer Before Senior Year: If you have not reached your goal based on the schools in which you plan to apply, continue to prep during the summer.
  9. Fall of Senior Year: For the ACT, take the September or October test administrations.  For the SAT, take October.  This way, you can be finished with testing and focus solely on college applications in the winter.