Craft your Perfect Summer Testing Timeline

July 11, 2024

Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time for rising Juniors to put their summer testing plan into action. A little bit of studying now will reduce pressure in the Fall and help avoid getting overwhelmed in the crucial Spring of your junior year.

Step 1: Take a mock test of each

If you haven’t already, take a baseline SAT and ACT mock to determine which test fits you best. Even if you took the digital PSAT last October, it would be a good idea to take a SAT mock, so that your baseline scores can reflect what you learned throughout the rest of the school year.

Step 2: Pick your test

All colleges consider the SAT and ACT equally, so you don’t need to worry about which test you decide to focus on. If your baseline score is higher on one test than the other, then you should probably focus on that test. If your scores on the concordance tables are essentially the same, then pick the test that you would prefer. That being said, if you’re starting with high scores, then it might make sense to focus on the SAT, so that you can also prepare for October’s PSAT in order to qualify for National Merit.

Step 3: Pick your first test date

If you go with the SAT, you can test in August, October, November, December, March, May, and June. With the ACT, you can test in September, October, December, February, April, June, and July. Additionally, some schools will offer in-school testing, typically in the Spring. Your summer plan will go much better if you know when you’ll be taking the test. If you tend to have busy weekends, make sure that you’ll be available on that month’s test date.

Step 4: Start your testing plan

If you choose to take your first test in the Fall, then now is the time to start preparing. Use the information from your mock to learn what you need to review and then parse out weekly goals. Plan to take a progress mock before school starts so you can gauge your improvement.

If you’re not going to test until Winter, or even Spring, then this summer should be about reviewing concepts and learning some new ideas at a manageable pace. 

Either way, be realistic about your plan. Don’t try to cram all of algebra into two weeks. And make time for vacations, relaxation, and fun!


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