When Is The Best Time To Take The ACT/SAT?

Ah, the ACT and SAT. The Big Two. It’s almost a right of passage for college-bound students. There’s plenty of material to study, and you’ll want to focus on that, but one question demands attention: When is the best time to take the test? Check out those ACT and SAT sign-up dates, because we’re about to answer that question.

A close-up of a calendar.

The Test Dates

There are 7 SAT test dates and 6 ACT test dates in a calendar year. You can take the test on any one of these dates. From the admissions point of view, it doesn’t matter which date you choose. Schools accept test scores from all test dates.

What is important however is to choose a test date that gives you enough time to prepare without conflicting with your other academic or extracurricular commitments.

First Time Test Takers

If you are taking the ACT/SAT for the first time, the best time to take either of the tests is in June before your junior year. This gives you plenty of time during the summer to prepare for the test that you plan to take. Taking the test in the summer also means you don’t have to juggle regular school work on top of test prep. Less stress yields more effective studying.

Repeat Test Takers

If you are not happy with your performance on the first test and would like to retake the ACT or SAT, the best time to do this is in the fall of junior year.

Still not happy and want to take the test for the third time? The best time for your third attempt is in the winter of junior year.

Ideally, you should finish off with your test-taking in your junior year so that you are free to focus on your academics and scoring high grades in your senior year.

The Myth of the Easier Test Date

Lots of myths surround the ACT and SAT. One of which is that “there’s an easier test date.” Of course, if you delve deep into this one you’ll find that no one can agree on when that supposed easier test date is. Truthfully, one date isn’t any easier or harder than another. So take it on the date that works best for you.

Check out how your ACT / SAT scores affect your acceptance odds with College Raptor!

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