taking the ACT or SAT - how soon? how often?
Posted : February 5, 2009
Last Updated : February 19, 2015
The ACT and SAT are college admission tests that let you show colleges what you know and how well you can apply that knowledge. The ACT measures your skills and knowledge in English, math, science and reading. The SAT tests your knowledge of reading, writing, and math.
A good time to take these college admission exams is the spring semester of your junior year. Advantages to testing in your junior year are:
You've probably taken the courses that prepare you for the tests.
You'll have your test scores and other information in time to plan your senior year. For example, you may decide to take an additional class in a subject in which your test scores were low.
Colleges will know of your interests and have your scores in time to contact you during the summer before your senior year. Many colleges send students information about admission, scholarships, and special programs at this time.
You'll have more information about yourself and the schools you're interested in before campus visits, making your visits more focused.
You'll have plenty of time to retake the tests before applying to college if you feel your scores don't accurately reflect your ability. ACT research shows that of the students who took the ACT a second time, 55 percent earned a higher composite score, 23 percent earned a lower score, and 22 percent stayed the same. SAT research shows that of the students who took the SAT a second time, 55 percent earned a higher score, 35 percent had score drops, and 10 percent had no change.
Many students take the ACT or SAT for the first time in the spring of their junior year, and then again in the fall of their senior year. The decision to take the ACT or SAT more than once depends on your own situation. If you're happy with your scores, you don't need to take the tests again. But if you think you'll do better a second time because you'll know what to expect, you've taken additional classes, or you've received tutoring, then you should take the ACT or SAT again.
Talk it over with your parents and counselor if you're uncertain.
Source: ACT's News You Can Use