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SAT timing/scheduling?

STEM2017STEM2017 4075 replies96 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
S19 is taking his first SAT next March 14th. He is planning on taking it twice. When is the best time to take it a second time? May 2nd, while its fairly fresh. or June 6th, with a few weeks of refresher studying? Anyone with experience and/or thoughts?
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Replies to: SAT timing/scheduling?

  • Techno13Techno13 175 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    S19? Is he a HS senior or junior? For us the timing is all about scheduling around other busy times (finals, busy EC times, etc.) My D21 took tests in June and was not happy trying to prepare for tests and also finals (results were not great). She also took the October exam (no result yet obviously) and had a lot more time to prepare, but had not had a math course for several months so she felt stale on that subject. She's thinking May for her second attempt. Will be several months into her next math course and timed between trimester finals. If she was a AP student May would be a terrible choice as the AP exams are all in May. March to May seems tight to me-- not much time after getting results to actually try and improve the score through test prep activities.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 3984 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 7
    How about both (May and June)? :smiley: (kidding)

    The May SAT is May 2nd. AP testing starts the following Monday. So depends on how you and your student feel about potentially studying for both. And the June SAT testing date will coincide with any SAT subject tests that your student may want to take, if any. And there's finals too.

    If your S needs to take it once more, then I'd contemplate June, if no subject tests are needed and right before finals. Wait for more prep time. There's always August and October too.
    edited October 7
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  • STEM2017STEM2017 4075 replies96 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Sorry - S21. My mistake!
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  • STEM2017STEM2017 4075 replies96 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 7
    S21 is not taking any APs or SAT subject tests. He's a very middle of the road student. His final exams takes place June 1, 2, and 3.

    I'll probably suggest May 2nd for his second SAT. The practice/info will still be kind of fresh and it will allow him to focus on finals later in June.

    We'll revisit this in the spring.

    Thanks all!
    edited October 7
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1381 replies7 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you only plan on his taking it twice, I would go with August. Gives him all of summer to prep on a more measured basis. IMO, the best prep is taking full practice tests under real conditions and then immediately review/understand why the mistakes. Taking tests relatively close with no additional prep is unlikely to result in much gain, unless the first time was low because of nervousness and unfamiliarity with the test.

    If you would consider a third test, then go with June. If he hits his target, then he is done. If he is still short, he can prep for August.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 3984 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    FWIW, my 21 took the August test and is registered for the March 2020 test. If there's a 3rd test to be taken, then I think the plan would be to skip the May and June tests and either take the August or the October test.

    My 21 plays a Spring varsity sport, has a few AP courses and may take a subject test or two in June. Just like you, we'll revisit everything after the New Year.
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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 58 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My DD20 did 3. The first was in December, the first date after taking the PSAT and then I scheduled the very next 2 dates, which were March and May, I think. They May was tough because she was getting ready for AP tests. I had read something about scheduling 3 successive dates because the process and material would be familiar enough and with the 3rd test already scheduled there wouldn’t be any pressure on the second score. As far as prep, we used a private tutor who targeted exactly what she needed to work on. The strategy worked for us because she surpassed her target score and had a pretty big score increase by the time she was done. She is pleased as punch right now because her friends are all trying to squeeze one more date in and she can just focus on applications.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 903 replies12 threadsRegistered User Member
    If waiting until March of Junior year, I’d suggest then aiming for August (unless Summer is completely booked).

    Earlier than June doesn’t leave much time for results, diagnostics, preparation, etc., and June tends to be during finals prep.
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  • STEM2017STEM2017 4075 replies96 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 8
    Thanks for all the advice.

    We all know there are levels of student motivation when it comes to these tests. Some kids are highly motivated to do well and some kids take the test only because they have to. S21 is right in the middle. He'll give a decent effort on the first try, but (depending on his score) will likely give less effort the second time. I'm just trying to figure out how he can minimize pain and maximize outcome.

    BTW, S17 (ACT) and S19 (SAT) both did worse their second time around, so I'm not even sure why I'm trying to care. lol

    Editing to add: Summer studying for September ACT was a DISASTER for S17, so we won't go that route for S21.
    edited October 8
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1428 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    STEM2017 wrote: »
    BTW, S17 (ACT) and S19 (SAT) both did worse their second time around, so I'm not even sure why I'm trying to care. lol

    Editing to add: Summer studying for September ACT was a DISASTER for S17, so we won't go that route for S21.

    First, this is unusual, I think most kids do better the second time around than the first as they can concentrate on studying the areas they missed the 1st time and have experienced the real, timed SAT and know what to expect.

    Second, I would take the second test at the end of the summer 2020 but get a private weekly tutor that will work with your kid who gives "home work", does practice tests, shares wisdom on test strategy, etc. to keep him motivated and on track so YOU don't have to do anything. It's money well spent in my opinion, especially if you have a kid who isn't a self-starter to prep well. Treat it like a summer school class in July and August (6-8 weeks).
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7254 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "The College Board reports score drops on subsequent test attempts occurred for 35 percent of students, while 10 percent experienced no change in their scores." https://www.manhattanreview.com/sat-retaking/

    My D's composite went down on her second ACT attempt. She should have been one and done but our state required a February sitting for graduation requirements. (It did help her super score though)
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  • STEM2017STEM2017 4075 replies96 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    First, this is unusual, I think most kids do better the second time around than the first as they can concentrate on studying the areas they missed the 1st time and have experienced the real, timed SAT and know what to expect.
    Thanks for the reminder.

    tutor... who gives "home work",
    Treat it like a summer school
    July and August
    If your kids get excited about a summer filled with tutors, homework, practice tests, etc, then good for you. As I stated earlier, different kids have different levels of motivation when it comes to SAT/ACT. Where I come from, kids are not motivated for summer school with homework and tests, especially when the end result is a standardized test.

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  • sushirittosushiritto 3984 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I agree with you STEM, my '21 WANTED even DEMANDED to take the SAT in August and didn't want to have to study during the school year. Different strokes for different folks. Well, now we'll have to do both (summer and spring). :smiley:

    My oldest, now a soph in college, wanted to take a 1-month intensive Calc AB course immediately following the end of the school year in early June several years ago. I don't know why. I had nothing to do with it. I swear.
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  • Darcy123Darcy123 290 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I regretted the June test date last year for my son. May was just incredibly busy with his spring sport, AP exams and finals/projects for the year, so essentially zero studying. He then had a week to go from last day of school to the SAT - it wasn't ideal.
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1428 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 10
    STEM2017 wrote: »
    July and August
    If your kids get excited about a summer filled with tutors, homework, practice tests, etc, then good for you. As I stated earlier, different kids have different levels of motivation when it comes to SAT/ACT. Where I come from, kids are not motivated for summer school with homework and tests, especially when the end result is a standardized test.

    I think what most here are saying is that taking the test a 2nd time in May/June will be difficult as kids have finals, AP exams, etc this time of year and its not ideal to also be taking on prepping for the SAT.

    I don't think most kids are excited to have to prep for the SAT/ACT over the summer but if their goal is to score as high as possible taking the exam a second time they make the sacrifice.

    Right or wrong, most colleges give a lot of weight in admission to standardized tests (after course rigor and GPA) so taking the time to study properly for it is the difference maker for many students.

    Again, you asked the question about when we thought was the best time to take the SAT a 2nd time and I think you got some great advice and reasons why. Good luck, maybe he will kill it the first time and no need for a 2nd test date?
    edited October 10
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