When to Start Preparing for the SAT or ACT

A milestone in many high school students’ journeys is taking the SAT or ACT. These exams are typically taken during their junior year of high school or even the beginning of senior year. Since both exams are approximately three hours long, students want to ensure they are fully prepared so they can feel confident that they have done their best and are not retesting multiple times.

So the big question becomes, when to start preparing for these tests?

Decide Which Test to Take

Most colleges will accept SAT and ACT scores, so students don’t have to burden themselves with studying for both exams. There are several key differences between the tests, including how questions are structured and what subject sections are included. However, the level of difficulty is the same.

To help students decide which test is the best fit for them, Crafting Scholars offers an SAT/ACT Diagnostic Exam. This test combines elements of both exams and provides a detailed analysis of how the student performed. This enables students to make an informed decision on which exam they want to take.

Look at Application Deadlines

Once students have decided which test to take, it is a good idea to look at the application deadlines for the schools they plan on applying to. Are there early acceptance deadlines or do they use rolling admissions? These dates can help students decide exactly when they want to take the SAT or ACT, since exams are typically only administered seven times per year.

Create a Study Plan

With deadlines in mind and a specific test chosen, students can begin developing a study plan. Most students start preparing in the spring of their sophomore year or the summer before their junior year. This gives them several months to practice, work on areas where they may be struggling, reinforce key skills, and familiarize themselves with the types of questions they will be asked.

Another factor in deciding how early to start preparing is how much time the student wants to devote to studying. A more intense regimen of several hours a week can mean students are ready for the exam more quickly. However, spacing things out a little bit can mean they don’t feel rushed or like they are cramming a lot of information into a short timeframe.

Working with a tutor on SAT or ACT prep can improve student success by creating a systematic plan for studying and providing support in areas where the student needs extra help. It can also help them to build more effective test-taking strategies and feel more comfortable about the structure of the test.

Starting early also allows students to review their scores and take the test again if they feel they have room for improvement. Since they already know what to expect and what sections they may not have done their best on, they can focus their continued study in these areas to boost their score.

Tackling the SAT and ACT with Confidence

Crafting Scholars works with high school sophomores and juniors to ensure they are prepared for the SAT or ACT exam. From deciding which test they may perform the best on to developing a detailed study plan to providing one-on-one tutoring, everything is tailored to each student’s individual needs and abilities. Contact Crafting Scholars today to learn more and sign up!