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SAT Prep Summer after Junior Year?

HankCTHankCT 220 replies10 threads Junior Member
Want to make sure my plan isn't foolish, so putting this out there. DD2 took her first SAT early. Once she heard about super scoring, she told me she wanted to take it as many times as possible, so she took one in December as a Junior, before the required May one. Her results were good, but this was with zero prep, flying blind.

Right now at school she is very close to overwhelmed with 3 AP classes, and 2 honors classes. Basically gym and one other class are not at the high level. I'm not sure it makes any sense right now to have her spend significant time prepping or attending any kind of prep, as it may take away from homework and hurt her grades. She's already grinding quite a lot to keep her grades up with this course load.

I presume one option would be to have her do one hour of prep time, here and there, piece by piece, between now and May for the spring test. Another option would be to focus on school during the course year, and then when summer starts, jump into a full prep for SAT and take a test in say August or October (November may be cutting it too close, and June I presume would not work with school finals and all at the same time).

The other, unrelated question, is that during her first SAT she took, her math calculator battery went dead on her right away, so she couldn't use it. She ended up with a 540 in math (her PSAT scores were significantly higher in math), which doesn't line up too well with her 700 in Reading. Anything to worry about here with superscoring? If she ends up with something like a superscore of 740 in english and 700 in math (for a 1440), will some colleges see that old 540 and hold it against her?
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Replies to: SAT Prep Summer after Junior Year?

  • LindagafLindagaf 9936 replies538 threads Senior Member
    Some colleges might hold it against her, if she applies to colleges that require all tests. Those colleges tend to be highly selective, like Georgetown and JHU.

    I’m a test prep tutor and I never advise students to take repeated tests, especially if they have done no prep. It’s such a time suck and can be very demoralizing, especially if the score isn’t improving. There is an SAT in June, when she might be done with nearly all of her finals. Why not consider that? Then if she needs to, she can have a final go in August. Does the school require kids to take it in May?

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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6310 replies10 threads Senior Member
    The only downside to waiting until summer is that you won't really know if you will have the scores you need for the schools you are considering. But if her time is consumed by school and she wants to prep, summer is a great option. If she won't have time to prep for June, as I'm for August. She already knows what the test is so June with little to no prep will not be helpful.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11786 replies31 threads Senior Member
    My S was hoping for merit from his first choice school, he applied in July, as soon as applications opened.

    He took SAT in January and June of junior year.

    He took some timed practice tests that can be printed from the College board website.

    She could do practice tests on weekends or during spring break, or if needed prep during summer and take August SAT, but that's pretty late.
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  • tgl2023tgl2023 266 replies6 threads Junior Member
    edited January 18
    I suggest studying now and take the test in May or June, so that she can enjoy a summer without worrying about tests.

    I think that a weekly 3-hour block of prep test is more effective than an hour here and there. The test prep service we used was for our son was a 10 three-hour course on Sunday nights, comprising of two 3-hour mock tests, the rest for mini tests and techniques, and with the last class meeting a few days prior to the actual test. All material in the course were printed, that is, nothing online, which I think is the key to success; the 3-hour format is useful for simulation of the real test conditions. Son did not study for the tests apart from the 3-hour course; he took the test in December of his junior year.
    edited January 18
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  • HankCTHankCT 220 replies10 threads Junior Member
    @tgl2023 Was the program you used a national one? Or something local? My worry with random local programs is you may not know their worth until the test results come in.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11786 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Bring extra pencils, batteries for your calculator, calculator, registration form, driver's license and water/snack to the test.
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  • tgl2023tgl2023 266 replies6 threads Junior Member
    HankCT wrote: »
    @tgl2023 Was the program you used a national one? Or something local? My worry with random local programs is you may not know their worth until the test results come in.
    The service we used was NOT a national one; it is local to the Baltimore-Washington DC corridor, and it has been in business since 1997. I think that one of the most valuable help that these test preps provide is 'forcing' the students to study in a structured format, and the second most valuable aspect with the service we used was that all material were printed, thus reinforcing the real testing condition. I remember joking with my husband that we would save money if we could tie the son to a chair and make him do the tests for ten Sundays.

    I think that any student who study regularly and earnestly, with or without test prep, can do well (not bomb) on these tests, young brains do adapt very quickly. Another piece of unsolicited thought: we also used the essay/application writing service from the same company. If we had to choose between using either the test prep or the essay service, I would choose the essay service.
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