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Should You Take the SAT or ACT Before Your Junior Year?

If you're thinking about registering for the SAT or ACT before 11th grade, check out these considerations. https://www.collegeconfidential.com/articles/should-you-take-the-sat-or-act-before-your-junior-year/

Replies to: Should You Take the SAT or ACT Before Your Junior Year?

  • WilsonTimesWilsonTimes Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    I preface my comment by stating, as said in the article, that there is no "one strategy" that fits everyone. That being said, for students who will be taking a few AP or IB classes their junior year AND who have already taken math up to pre-calculus, taking the ACT or SAT in July, August or September after their sophomore year can be a great idea.

    While studying in the summer is never fun, there is usually ample opportunity. Putting in an hour a day for six-eight weeks may provide enough effort to get a solid ACT or SAT score. Waiting for second semester junior year might not be the best idea as your standardized testing study time will be limited by homework, tests, AP classes, AP exams, extra-curricular activites, sports, etc. AP and IB classes ususally require extra effort in homework and studying. Trying to ft in SAT or ACT studying with all the above can be very difficult.

    It definitely depends on the individual student, but for those who will be extremely busy with schoolwork and other activities during the school year, studying over the summer might provide the best opportunity for high standardized test scores.
  • eaglerockdudeeaglerockdude Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    edited May 23
    Definitely my child is a junior I bought an SAT test prep book, and a Kranse course, and told her about Kahn academy but as yet she has not started. I think mentally after doing all the things she needs to so(homework..she has AP classes and is a NHS member) based on her self time management, she is too overwhelmed to do it. I looked at the book myself..500 pages...jezus.
  • CheeringsectionCheeringsection Registered User Posts: 2,401 Senior Member
    I agree that if a student has completed pre-Calc, it is fine to take ACT or SAT at end of Sophomore year or beginning of junior year after prepping over the summer. So many schools now require juniors to take one or the other spring of junior year that it is great for that to be the 2nd (and hopefully final) attempt. It also provides feedback on the need to prep more over the summer for a 3rd attempt while still giving time for changes to the college list (if needed) before EA/ED deadlines.
  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School Registered User Posts: 3,302 Senior Member
    All you need is geometry and algebra for the SAT/ACT , so taking it early is not much of an issue for advanced kids. There is no pressure when you are younger either with plenty of time to take it again.
  • scubadivescubadive Registered User Posts: 1,089 Senior Member
    I had both my kids take it at the beginning of sophomore with no prep and no warning. Both did excellent and it took the pressure off. From there they took it each year also no prep or warning. Both had superscores of 35 with no stress.
  • melvin123melvin123 Registered User Posts: 1,537 Senior Member
    When my D took the ACT 3 years ago there were 3 pre-calc questions in the math section. She remembers that so vividly because they had just covered it the week before she took the test.
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 9,284 Senior Member
    I’m a test prep tutor, and the answer to the question is “it depends.”

    Is the child very motivated and ready to put in some time prepping? Then maybe, yes.
    Is the child highly intelligent and wants to get the test out of the way? See previous answer.
    Is the child going to have a super busy year and isn’t terribly concerned about the score? See previous answer.

    Is the child concerned about getting his best score possible but isn’t a particularly stellar student who would benefit from more education under his belt? Then maybe not.
    Is the child rushing, not serious about prepping, and/or not thinking about the possibility of doing not very well and having to retest? See previous answer.

    There are any number of variations on these questions. It depends on your kid and how high they are aiming, how much time they want to spend prepping and many other factors.

    As a tutor, the one thing I can say with certainty is that students who are well-prepared do better.
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