Planning for Junior Year Exams
While more schools are announcing test optional admissions policies in response to COVID-19, students should still prepare for and take standardized tests during junior year. Test optional policies do not mean test blind, and proper preparation for testing enables your child to optimize standardized test scores and maximize opportunities for college admission and financing. More information on test optional policies can be found here.
There isn’t a cut-and-dry formula that determines when all students should begin testing, but we do recommend you consider the following factors that may affect your student's testing timeline during junior year:
Many students take the SAT or ACT for the first time during the spring of junior year. However, if your child has serious extracurricular commitments in the spring, this timeline may not work. Students involved in multiple organizations, sports, and clubs need to be especially mindful when planning a time to take admissions exams.
- Athletes that may be scouted during spring sports should consider doing the bulk of their testing during the winter and early spring dates.
- Students seeking to play college sports should also review NCAA course requirements.
Though it may seem like an appealing option to wait until senior year to test, this leaves a very limited number of test dates if something unpredictable should arise such as an illness or distracting test environment.
Most early admission deadlines are in October or November, so students applying in this manner have virtually no opportunities to test during senior year. Though colleges will occasionally let applicants send in updated scores if they continue to test throughout the fall, these scores may not be taken into consideration for those students applying early. Therefore, students who are set on a school that offers early admission should use that to their advantage and plan to test several times by the end of their junior year.