The SAT and ACT have experienced a few changes over the past couple years, but apparently more tweaks are on the way--this time in the form of testing dates. Starting with the 2017-2018 testing season, SAT plans to add an August test date; ACT, a July test date.
What exactly does this mean for you?
Well, for the SAT, College Board does not give without taking--
In other words, while College Board plans to add an August test date, it’s eliminating its January one. For many, the change will go unnoticed, but January was significant for those seniors who wanted one last chance at a good test score; it also allowed winter break crammers a close exam target for applying skills without getting out of practice.
The August test date changes test-prep strategies--not the ones specific to the content, but ones related to how to plan your studying and possible re-taking of the test. Seniors will most likely have to rely on summer prep, especially since fall is usually devoted to applying to colleges. It’s definitely not recommended that you juggle college entrance exams and college applications. But if you like that song and dance, then you’ll have the November and December dates still.
Since the first spring test date will now be in March, the bulk of uninterrupted test prep--the kind that doesn’t get pushed aside for school work--will most likely be done in summer. It will be much better to cram in, say, July/August, when community college summer classes end and you find yourself in a dead zone between summer school and regular school. Also, you will now have two chances to get a high score before the school year gets too overwhelming.
The ACT is more generous with its test-date changes--
Unlike College Board, the ACT only plans to add its July date; so instead of six test dates there will be seven. The July date works well for students who don’t have a lot of time during the school year to study and want to cram during June, after AP/IB exams, SAT subject tests, and anything else.
What’s the major takeaway?
Summer, more than ever, is the prime time to study and now even take these important exams. For most students, this will reaffirm what they already plan to do with their break. For seniors, it will help prioritize college admissions applications, and for others it will clear up the regular school year for other priorities, if needed. Of course, most of the other test dates remain, so if summer isn’t your prime test-prep time, then have no fear.
As always, we at B2A are here to help students make the most of their SAT and ACT test dates. We have many cram classes, semester-long classes, intensive camps, and 1-1 tutoring to help you improve your scores and overall knowledge. We can even help you determine which test would work best for you! Let us help you set the best schedule for the best testing experience.