When Should High School Students Take the College Entrance Exams?
First, there is no exact answer to this because it depends on many circumstances including the students’ course load, sports, activities, and other commitments.
In general, sophomores will be offered the opportunity by their schools to take the PSAT (Practice SAT) in their sophomore year. This is an excellent opportunity for students to see where they stand. At this point, they usually realize they will need some help preparing a year before taking the “real” exams. Colleges do not consider the PSAT for admission so it’s harmless (other than exhausting a few brain cells during the exam). If your students miss the opportunity to take the PSAT at school, they may take the practice exam at ACE Tutoring. Contact us to schedule a complimentary PSAT.
Keep in mind that spring of 11th grade is the most stressful for students as they prepare for class exams, finish projects, and study for their AP exams as well as their final exams. If possible, we recommend that students prepare for their ACT and SAT exams during the summer between 10th and 11th grade. By the end of 10th grade, most students have taken all the coursework needed to help them on the exams. By following this timeline, students can focus the rest of the school year on their all-important 11th grade GPA. This is the last year that colleges utilize for calculating students’ GPA for purposes of admission. The next best time to prep is early in the fall semester of 11th grade. By prepping during that timeframe, students can still take the late fall (October – December and/or early spring (January – March) exams. This will still keep them clear of the late spring crush.
Finally, I cannot stress enough the importance of critical reading in preparing for the exams. We recommend that students read regularly in grades K-12. Ideally, students should read at least 30 minutes per day. In our 20+ years of supporting college-bound students, we’ve noted a direct correlation between how much students read and their college entrance exam scores.
If you have any questions regarding college entrance exams, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.acetutoring.com for more information including upcoming exam dates.