Is it okay to take my SATs and ACT w/ Writing in senior year?

I’m a rising senior who’s terrified of the prospect of college. I’ve been stuck trying to keep my grades up in high school (3 AP classes junior year, all 5s, all As or high Bs on my transcript) without thinking of college prep… even though my high school is basically a college prep school. So I’ve only taken the ACT twice: once in 7th grade for Duke TIP and once last year because it was mandatory. I got a 27 and 34, respectively. Can I take the ACT with writing in senior year with no consequences, i.e. would it look bad on my application? Also, I haven’t taken any SATs yet and I don’t know how many or which ones I need to take. I don’t have any colleges or prospective majors lined up either. I feel more unprepared than I ever have for anything before.

First, develop your potential college list. You may not have to take SATs at all. Few schools require SAT IIs and your ACT score is great (though some schools will want it with W).

Thanks. I’ll try using the College Match here to build a list.

When you took the ACT and got a 34 , was it with writing? If so for most colleges 34 is all you will need.

No, it wasn’t with writing.

The 7th grade ACT means nothing because colleges neither require nor use pre-high school test scores. If your 34 ACT is with writing, then you may not even have ot take ACT or SAT. If it is without writing, then you are likely to have issues because many colleges require the writing with ACT and thus you should consider taking that one again, or SAT – but if you can score 34 in ACT, it may be the one to take again-- but you do not need both, although you might also need two SAT subject tests for some colleges.

I figured as much for the 7th grade ACT score. I’m considering Swarthmore and while looking through threads here it seems nobody was admitted without either a strong SAT I or SAT IIs. Is it better to take one than the other? What differentiates SAT I and SAT II?

SAT IIs are subject tests (like APs). Most schools don’t require them and don’t look at them. SAT Is are more logic/general knowledge tests than anything else. The vast majority of schools want those or the ACT for admission. You’ll note SWAT does not require SAT IIs if you provide ACT with W. (or you could just take the SAT now and have it done with your current ACT - odd test mix compared to most schools).

Swarthmore’s testing requirment is met by any one of the the following three choices: (a) SAT with two SAT subject tests, OR (b) ACT w/writing, OR © SAT and ACT with or without writing, see In other words you need nothing further if your ACT is w/writing. If it is without you should likely take the SAT so that the ACT w/o writing will be considered.

SAT subject tests are what the name implies. They actualy test you on subjects you have had in high school and each subject test covers one subject, e.g., math, history, literature, physics, chemistry, etc… The current SAT has a math, reading and writing section, which have some tricky questions where you often have to carefully think through what is actually being asked and what is the correct answer.

Would it be better to submit just an ACT w/ writing or SAT and ACT w/o writing? Which would give me a better chance at being accepted? Also, are there any really good SAT study guides, in case I decide to take the SAT I?