It’s the beginning of second semester junior year and it’s starting to seem real. The deadlines are in sight, test prep is getting revved up to high gear, you’re finalizing the details for school visits over spring break, and the thought of writing your college essay gives you anxiety. It’s completely understandable that by this time of the year you’re feeling exhausted, and as a parent you might be inclined to give your child breaks from the intense studying and preparation. It’s important to remember that this process is a marathon, not a sprint, which means you need to pace yourself but not fully stop. We want to simplify one of the most important college application items by giving you a testing schedule.
It’s best to get as much out of the way as possible, as soon as possible, when it comes to the college application process. Out of all the components of the college process, testing is easiest to front-load. Extracurricular activities need to be done throughout high school and the essays can’t really start until the summer before senior year, but the studying process has already begun. This pay dividends later on when students are scrambling to finish essays or complete their homework and don’t possibly have time to do one more thing. Good news is, if you adhere to our recommended schedule, you’ll have already completed and aced your SAT or ACT, SAT Subject Tests, and AP exams. We want you to check that box as early as possible.
We’ve compiled a list of test dates below and strongly recommend the following schedule. You’ll see we’ve included back-up dates (in the event that your student does not score to their potential) but again, these are back-up dates. We can’t say this enough: get testing out of the way as soon as possible.
Here is a sample testing schedule:
Now-March: Continue to for the ACT/SAT/SAT II/AP.
March 11, 2017: Take SAT (register by February 10)
April 8, 2017: Take ACT (register by March 3, 2017)
May 1-12, 2017: Take AP exams for all relevant courses (talk to your school about registration. If your school does not offer these exams, you can take them elsewhere.)
May 6. 2017: Take 1-2 SAT IIs (register by April 7):**
- US or World History
- Math I or Math II
- Biology or Chemistry
June 3, 2017: Take a language SAT II (register by May 9):**
- Modern Hebrew
BACK UP TESTING DATES:
August 26, 2017*: Re-take SAT or SAT II
September 10*: Re-take ACT
October 7*: Re-take SAT II
*These are anticipated dates and have not been confirmed.
We recommend that every student takes 2-3 SAT II exams-one in the humanities (a language, history, or English), and then either a math or a science (or ideally, BOTH). While most schools require 2, it’s always good to have a third as an option. Georgetown strongly suggests 3 SAT II exams, for example, so if Georgetown is a definite (or even a possibility) on your school list, we recommend you take 3. It’s always better to leave options open.
Naturally, every student is different and we would be happy to hop on the phone to discuss particulars, but this is a tried-and-true schedule that we recommend.