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So, you're curious about taking the ACT and SAT tests? It can be hard to know what to do first, and often even the best of us feel rushed and confused about our testing options in high school. Luckily, there are plenty of resources that can help you decide when to take the ACT and SAT tests in high school so that you'll be well prepared in time for college admissions, no matter your current test scores. These tips will help you know when to take the ACT and SAT tests to avoid wasting time or money on early tests or applications without results!
If I'm Taking the SAT or ACT For the First Time, When Should I Take It?
You first need to know whether you're applying to college in America or abroad to answer that question. If you're applying to American colleges and universities, then there's no standardized test season at all—the first time you take either exam is just as good as any other time. So, if your schedule is flexible, there's no harm in taking both exams multiple times. But if your plan isn't so flexible—say, for example, your college application deadlines are coming up soon—then here are some suggestions for timing based on when U.S. schools will accept them.
What Is the Best Number of Times to Take the SAT or ACT?
This is probably one of your biggest questions and one that students frequently ask their counselors. The answer depends on two main factors: how well you perform on test day and how important your college admissions are to you. If your scores are relatively good (mainly if they are in or near the range of what you need for college admission), then it may be safe to take them only once, especially if you have other things going on during exam season.
When Should You Take the ACT or SAT?
Most students take either test in October or November of their junior year, but you should consider test dates that are still a year out to give yourself time to prepare. If you're planning to apply for early-decision college admission, you'll need to take both tests at least six months ahead of time. Your scores are good for five years, so don't feel rushed—especially if you haven't spent much time preparing yet. It's better to take both tests once your prep work is done and you have your best shot at scoring high.
What Are the Best Dates to Take the Test?
There are things to consider when deciding which test date to go with, but first and foremost, you should determine if you're going to take both tests or just one. If you're only planning on taking one of these two tests, keep in mind that most colleges still require applicants to submit scores from both tests. As such, you'll want to schedule your test dates accordingly so that your scores arrive at colleges by their deadlines. It's also important not to take either test too early; there are some notable benefits (and costs) associated with each choice.
At some point, you'll have to take one of these tests. Some students start preparing during their freshman year, while others wait until junior year. It's up to you how far in advance you should prepare—either way; there are pros and cons for both options. While taking an ACT or SAT test earlier gives you more time to prepare for your next test, it also increases your risk of disappointment if your scores aren't as high as you'd hoped. On the other hand, waiting means that you won't have any extra pressure when it comes time to take them—instead, each test will be about what it needs to be about: evaluating how well prepared and confident you are.