When touring with my oldest, there were certain days when it seemed half the visitors were boarding school kids and it was summer. At Bates I think? Went around room and said where you were in school and the majority were NYC privates and boarding school.
That doesn’t surprise me as half their matriculated class comes from private schools. 52% public 48% private
It’s also because of logistics. Most public school kids can arrange their college trips for fall long weekends. it can be hard to do fall weekend visits from prep schools because
- Many boarding schools don't do long weekends or days off for the fall religious holidays.
- Many families don't live near enough to scoop up their kids for a weekend trip.
- By senior year most kids at both boarding and day schools have Saturday games.
- Some boarding schools have Saturday classes.
But that 3 week spring break sure came in handy for college visits! Now, that’s when we definitely bumped into a lot of other BS kids on the rounds. Some visits were like old home days.
We too saw tons of kids from prep schools during March break. We all seemed to be on the same tour and by the third school at which we’d seen the same families we began to compare notes. I think a lot of the boarding school kids on summer visits are either doing a second pass or are kids who didn’t have a clear idea of what they wanted when they did their initial spring break trips.
We had a kid at a day school who did two separate trips during the fall of senior year. The most we could do with boarding school kid was a local hotel conference room interview with a school she’d visited but not interviewed at in the spring. Saturday classes and sports made it near impossible to take off for the weekend. Some families do skip part or all of parent’s weekend, when kids tend to have a Monday off.
(Good GAWD, I just posted this on THE WAIT LIST thread. Need caffeine).
On a completely separate note, I am back from our school’s College Information Weekend (YES. Many 2020 families attended “early” in a communal attempt to stay five paces ahead of our children). DC has stated that after taking the practice ACT that our school offers in the Spring, she would like to take the SAT or the ACT this Summer. Thoughts regarding prepping taking standardized tests the summer after Sophomore year vs. the traditional summer after Junior year? Pre-calc will be done by this summer. Thanks in advance for any feedback, especially from those of you who have gone through the college admissions process.
I sent you a DM so the WL thread wouldn’t veer off topic. LOL
I’ll put it here too.
My DD was in honors/AP classes at the local public school. It was standard procedure for the H/AP kids to prep for standardized tests the summer between Jr and Sr year. Many took their first SAT/ACT in October of Jr year, right around the time of the PSAT. I think waiting until summer before Sr year is leaving things a little late, particularly if your child may look at EA/ED.
Thanks @carpoolingma . I guess with the current emphasis on “Early”, it’s probably not a bad idea to prep over the summer and then take an early fall test.
S17 took SAT in Nov of junior year because he wanted to take the old SAT. We’re going to have S20 take SAT in the fall too around PSAT. His school recommends March but fall worked well last time.
Math on SAT contains Algebra & Geometry.
SAT subject test Math 2 should be taken after pre-calc.
I totally disagree with taking the real test at the end of sophomore year. Prep over the summer, take real practice tests under strict time constraints, but don’t sit for the real thing until later junior year when the student is at peak academic level. No use wasting a Saturday or a sitting that early. Colleges see how many times you take the test so adding one to the list early is a waste. Take real tests under real time constraints at home.
Another option is a test at a prep center. These are free, but ask what they use because some use mock tests that are similar (often harder).
@itcannotbetrue Both DS2017 and DS2019 took SAT subject Math II test in June after sophomore year, right after Pre-Calc.
DS2017 took SAT in December of Junior year, ACT in February, April, and June of Junior year and was done with ACT in June. Junior year spring was filled with brutal testing schedule, but everyone seems to be doing the same. He took 4 AP tests and SAT subject Chemistry test in May and took SAT Physics and ACT test in June. He was done with testing by June of Junior year except for the senior year AP tests in May.
Both SAT and ACT added late summer tests since then, and it would be wise to utilize them.
S2019 had planned to take the August SAT test after sophomore year, but it was canceled due to Hurricane. He took SAT in October and December of Junior year. He took ACT in February, and he is done with SAT/ACT. He will take 1 or 2 subject tests in June of Junior year and will be done with testing then.
it’s great that they have these summer tests now for juniors (Rising seniors). I think the best testing schedule is to try the real act in February and the real sat and April and determine which one works best and focus on one. They can try again on either one in June and now have the option of a final sitting in August or July. That’s the plan for my youngest.
We used to see a lot of students take the ACT/SAT in August/September of their junior year. They would study over hte summer and get the test out of the way before classes really kicked in. Most took the studying very seriously during July/August and, if needed, could take the test a second time in October.
Now with summer test dates we’re hearing that a fair number of kids will test in July/September for the ACT after their sophomore year of HS. If they’ve taken pre-calc then they have the math to do it.
From the results we’ve seen, it’s a good option as the summer studying doesn’t interfere with AP classwork and kids got the scores they wanted in just 1-2 sittings before schoolwork really picked up.
Thanks to all for your responses. I think our plan will be to prep for the SAT for the August date, which of course will also help with PSAT scores. Sadly, the July ACT test option is not offered in our state (?). Thoughts on DC also taking ACT in early September as well? Or will that be entirely too confusing/require its own ACT strategy prep?
*I seriously don’t remember testing being this complicated back in the day. I think I bought a test prep book, did one practice test, then rolled out of bed to take my one and done SAT. Oh, the good 'ol days
Because it wasn’t this complicated.
I would not have my kid take tests September of junior year. They need to focus 100% on courses. What’s the big rush? Take it February Junior year or later. Scores are always better with increased maturity and school time and I can’t stress enough how much of a time suck it is to start too early and keep retaking. It’s like when you pack for a trip too early and end up packing and repacking multiple times.
With the summer sittings there is really no benefit to starting official testing as a sophomore.
Depending on the individual student, there can be a tremendous benefit to starting tests early. If they have a solid background in math and science, taking the ACT during the summer or September can be a great benefit to them. They can study over the summer and don’t have to study for both standardized tests and AP classes this during the school year. If they prepare well, they can finish their standardized testing by early September, before school really starts.
It truly depends on the students themselves. My S17 and his friends all studied last summer before their junior year and finished their standardized testing before school was 2 weeks old. This allowed them to focus 100% on their AP courses during the school year without having to worry about the additional studying for standardized tests.
Whatever works best for your kid.
Right, but now there is the option of doing it senior summer, which is the same in terms of time to study but you get a boost because of 1 year extra time to grow and mature. Granted, I wouldn’t recommend waiting till senior summer to sit for it the first time.
Found out DC’s zero-prep preACT score today—waaaaaaay better than PSAT, phew. Looks like all eggs going into ACT basket (plus subject tests). We’re going to shoot for the September ACT date in order to prep over summer.
@AppleNotFar That’s good to know. When did he take the PreACT? Wondering when my youngest’s score will be released. Their test date was 2/7.