With the January SAT test date a thing of the past, the College Board is now offering a new “summer” SAT.
Most everyone we know in college admissions thinks it’s a good idea, given the college application schedule that students must set for themselves as they approach the senior year.
An August date gives rising seniors the opportunity to take the SAT at least one more time – way before even the early decision/early action deadlines. Before this year, juniors often chose to either test twice in the spring or wait until October or November of senior year to retest. You can still do that, but the August test is opening eyes to a really favorable new option.
How the summer test date helps
Juniors who tested in March could take the May or June test administration, but there are some minor problems: That time is often filled with junior-year workloads that include AP and Subject Test prep, papers, and college visits, just to name a few compelling tugs on attention.
There’s another issue, too: a student may not feel there’s enough time to prepare enough for the May or June test after taking the March SAT, which means that scores on the latter dates wouldn’t show much improvement over March.
Take the pressure off. Plan for the August SAT by scheduling your summer test prep now. The very idea of taking the SAT in the summer may well be a positive goad to get you started sooner on your Common Application (used by over 700 colleges and universities).
Keep in mind that fall testing doesn’t always work out well. Summer vacation for most students means time away from academic rigor and a studious mindset, two of the several qualities that help a student’s approach to the SAT. Taking the October test would mean taking lots of time off from test prep, time that includes no classes of any sort for the majority of students.
Preparing for the August SAT will hone an already sharpened edge.
For those seniors who will apply early decision or early action, this new test date really fits the bill. Test scores will be ready for every application in the fall, no matter the deadline.
But there’s a small hitch…
Not only will an SAT be administered on August 26, but also most Subject Tests (omitted are the bulk of the foreign language tests). If you’re not going to take or retake the SAT, consider this date as a chance, with proper review to take or retake one, two, or three Subject Tests.
You’ve got some thinking to do about your testing schedule. Plan now. Along with your SAT testing, be sure to ramp up your college planning, and seek some help from parents, teachers, counselors, and even college admissions officers. You’ll be glad you did.