The SAT is an important standardized test that colleges use as part of their admission process. You typically want to take the SAT at the end of your junior year and/or beginning of your senior year. However, there are some additional factors to consider when deciding when to take the exam that this blog post will elaborate on.
When is the exam offered?
SAT Test Dates for 2023-2024 School year
Does your school offer an SAT school day?
In addition to the 7 times a year that the SAT is offered nationally, some high schools will offer and SAT school day. This is a a day where your school will host the SAT during school time Monday-Friday, in which they provide the SAT for free. You will want to ask your school if they offer this so you can make sure to study for that exam date and prepare adequately.
How much preparation do you need?
What is your high school math curriculum?
The math section of the SAT is very dependent on what classes you are enrolled in within school. Meaning, since there is geometry, algebra 1, and a small amount of algebra 2 on the exam, you should consider taking the SAT soon after you’ve finished studying the relevant material in school. For example, if you have not taken geometry yet, it wouldn’t make sense to sign up for the SAT until you have completed that class.
How many times do you want to take the exam?
Typically most students take the SAT 2-3 times. Thus, you need to factor this into your plan to make sure you have enough time to take the exam multiple times before submitting your scores to schools. Some students only take the exam once; however, it behooves you to take the exam multiple times as The College Board reports that 55 percent of high school juniors improved their scores when taking the test a second time. Many students feel more comfortable and know what to expect during their second attempt, causing their scores to rise.
What other obligations do you have?
Keep in mind the other obligations that you have. If you participate in spring sports and March is your busiest time of year, then it might not be smart to take the March SAT exam. Many students take the exam in August as they then do not need to worry about academics, sports, or any other extra curricular activities. However, playing devils advocate, if you have a lot of vacations planned of the summer and will have disjointed studying, then the August exam might not be best for you.
When are your applications due?
When do you want to take the test?
Ultimately, the best time to take the SAT is when you feel confident and prepared. If you need more time to study or prepare, take the test when you’re ready, rather than rushing to take it when you “should” take it. However, if you feel that you are struggling to prepare for the exam, never hesitate to reach out to a tutor that can help provide guidance and direction in your studies. They will know all the tips and tricks that are specific for this exam!
In conclusion, when you should take the SAT depends on several factors, including your high school schedule, college application deadlines, time for preparation, retake opportunities, test availability, and personal preference. Consider these factors carefully when deciding when to take the SAT, and make sure to sign up well in advance to secure your spot on the desired test date.
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