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Now is a great time to start planning for your college entrance exam journey to ultimately get into your dream school. Investing some time and energy into a plan now will save you a lot of unnecessary stress. Furthermore, it will give you the confidence you need to get an awesome score. We created a general timeline to use, starting your junior year. Since every student has a different schedule with various activities, we recommend you use our timeline as a general outline and change it to tailor it to you. SAT and ACT Dates for the year can be found in our website under Resources. To register for tests, click here.

If you are a freshman or sophomore, you can plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines. However, remember to update your timeline as the dates and your situation may change. Creating a timeline early will give you peace of mind. As a consequence, you’ll know what will happen and when it will happen.

Before starting a timeline, you need to decide whether you will be applying to any schools via the early decision program. Applying early shifts your entire testing timeline forward by many months. Early application deadlines are sometimes as early as October of senior year, so you should plan to be done with all testing in the fall. If your ultimate goal is to get into your dream school early, know the test score average of that school so you have a test score goal.

Fall of Junior Year (September to November)

  • Take the PSAT—Take the PSAT as a junior to practice for the SAT. By taking the PSAT, you may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship program. 
  • Prepare for the SAT and/or ACT—Begin studying for the SAT and/or ACT at the start of junior year. Take a practice test of each to help you decide which test is best for you. You may find that you do significantly better on one test than the other. If this is the case for you, then you have a wonderful start plan from this baseline. (Mundo Academy regularly offers free SAT/ACT days and provide you with a detailed analysis.) Determine your goal score based on the colleges to which you will be applying. By looking at your prospective college’s average scores, you’ll know how deep your study plans should be.

Winter of Junior Year (December to February)

  • Take the SAT and/or ACT—Take the SAT and/or ACT and plan to test again the spring of junior year and/or fall of senior year. It’s important that you plan for multiple test dates even if you end up not needing them. You should go into it with the mind-frame that you will be taking the test again. That way you don’t end up anxious about the results of your first test. If you are applying to colleges that “superscore” you should definitely take the SAT/ACT multiple times. Colleges that superscore accept the best sections scores from different test administrations, combining the highest in each section to make a new, higher score. If you are having financial difficulty paying for multiple tests, ask your high school guidance counselor for a fee waiver.
  • Take SAT Subject Tests for Fall Classes —Take your SAT Subject Tests (required by some colleges) right after you’ve taken the relevant class and while the material is still fresh. Plan for this after the fall semester.

Spring of Junior Year (March to May)

  • Take the SAT and/or ACT—Taking it a second time will improve your score, but make sure you create a plan for studying based on your initial results.
  • Take SAT Subject Tests for Spring Classes

Fall of Senior Year (September to November)

  • Take the SAT and/or ACT—If you feel like you can improve on your results again, take the test again in the fall of senior year. 
  • Ensure SAT and/or ACT Reports are sent to Early Application Schools—If you plan on applying to schools through their early decision program,  you will need to go to the College Board (SAT) and ACT Student (ACT) websites to send colleges your official test score reports. 

Winter of Senior Year (December to February)

  • Take SAT Subject Tests for Fall Classes
  • Ensure SAT and/or ACT Reports are sent to regular decision schools – Make sure you to go to the College Board (SAT) and ACT Student (ACT) websites to send colleges your official test score reports.

Test Preparation and Good Planning Will Get You Into Your Dream School

SAT & ACT Timeline for High School Students for Planning Junior Year and Senior Year

As you create your timeline using the outline above, make sure you choose test dates that allow you enough study time. Think of your family obligations, commitments, extra curricular activities, etc. Also, make sure that there are no major plans on the Saturday mornings you plan to take your tests. Consider your score gain goals with your baseline. Will you need plenty of time for major studying? Will you only need a small amount of time for quick preparation? Remember to fill in your calendar with the days you plan on prepping. Mundo Academy can help you plan and prep for your tests. Let us know if you need help and we will help you get into your dream school. To contact us or to book an appointment, click here.