Planning for the ACT, SAT and subject tests for spring and summer 2017

13 Apr 2017
Ron Michalak
874

The (temporary?) change in weather is a good reminder that spring and summer are just around the corner, and having a plan to help get your sophomore or junior ready for the standardized tests is essential.

Here are some thoughts for the Class of 2018:

  • For current juniors in Minnesota public high schools, you have up to three more opportunities to take the ACT this school year. Most have a mandatory, in-school administration coming up EITHER February 28 or April 18.
  • We recommend that students also take advantage of the national test on April 8. You also have a final opportunity this school year to take the ACT on June 10.
  • For current juniors in independent schools, you have two more opportunities to take the ACT this school year, on April 8 and June 10.
  • Both the April 8 and June 10 tests are “test release” months, meaning that for an extra $20, you can order a copy of the test booklet, your answers and the answer key. When ordered, those materials will be delivered to your home approximately 6-8 weeks after the administration of the test.
  • Unlike the in-school test, the results of which can take weeks to arrive, results for the national test dates start to arrive just 11 days after the test.
  • There are three administrations of the SAT remaining this school year: March 11, May 6 and June 3.
    Heading into the next school year, rising seniors will have a new, earlier opportunity to take the SAT, as the College Board will debut a new summer test date on August 26. There will also be an SAT on Saturday, October 7.
  • The ACT will be offered on Saturday, September 9. There is also a late October test on October 28; neither that test date nor the SAT on October 7 is recommended for students who will apply early action, early decision or to the University of Minnesota, which has a priority deadline of November 1st.
  • For students planning to apply to competitive and highly competitive universities, you may also want to consider taking two SAT subject tests this spring. The subject tests are single subject tests, such as math (two levels), physics, chemistry, biology, U.S. history, world history, literature and a range of foreign languages, and students are permitted to take up to three such tests on a given test date. The tests are offered on May 6 and on June 3. If you plan to take a subject test, you should plan now to capitalize on the work you’re doing in relevant classes like AP US History, chemistry, physics and/or AP US Literature. You can register at the College Board website.
  • If you are planning to take any of the upcoming ACTs or SATs, make sure you’re prepared to do your best. Taking a full-length practice test coupled with a series of lessons to help you brush up on unfamiliar concepts and important test-taking strategies is one of the most effective ways to prepare for a standardized test. Summer also offers rising seniors an excellent time to prepare for the standardized tests, as it is outside of the frenzy of the academic year. Breakaway offers a wide variety of test prep options in the summer.
  • You should also think about using the summer to do college visits, work on your college application essays and, if necessary, complete your Common App. If you need help with your essays, the application process or the Common App, Breakaway has resources that can help you with those important tasks. Please feel free to contact Ron Michalak at [email protected] to learn more.

Here are some thoughts for the Class of 2019:

  • Current sophomores should plan to take a practice ACT (or SAT) sometime this spring. The practice test will give you good exposure to the test as well as provide you with an indication of your relative strengths and weaknesses.
  • Take advantage of the summer to do some test prep. Doing prep in the summer enables the student to offload at least some of the prep he or she may need to do during junior year. Because junior year is so hectic, removing some of that work to the summer can help make the year more manageable. Breakaway offers a wide variety of test prep opportunities all summer long; I’ll send out information on Breakaway’s summer prep options next week! Or you can click here to learn more about our summer prep options.
  • For students planning to apply to competitive and highly competitive universities, you may also want to consider taking an SAT subject test this spring. The subject tests are single subject tests, such as math (two levels), physics, chemistry, biology, U.S. history, world history, literature and a range of foreign languages. The tests are offered on May 6 and on June 3. If you plan to take a subject test, you should plan now to capitalize on the work you’re doing in relevant classes like AP US History, chemistry, physics and/or AP US Literature. You can register at the College Board website.