When can I take the SAT test? Are some times better than others?
The College Board offers the SAT Test multiple times a year, and many optimal times exist to take the test. Every student has a different schedule, dictated by sports seasons, school plays, and myriad extracurriculars. The College Board gives students many options. Every year the College Board gives the SAT Test at the end of January, as well as early March, May, June, October, November, and December. The College Board also gives SAT Subject Tests (also known as SAT IIs) on the same test dates, except March, on which only the SAT I is given.
The specific dates for the next two school years to take the SAT test and SAT Subject Tests are as follows:
May 7, 2011: SAT test and SAT Subject Tests
June 4, 2011: SAT test and SAT Subject Tests
October 1, 2011: SAT test and SAT Subject Tests
November 5, 2011: SAT test and SAT Subject Tests
December 3, 2011: SAT test and SAT Subject Tests
January 28, 2012: SAT test and SAT Subject Tests
March 10, 2012: SAT test only
May 5, 2012: SAT test and SAT Subject Tests
June 2, 2012: SAT test and SAT Subject Tests
No perfect time exists to take the SAT Test but generally the dates tend to fit into the academic calendar in specific ways. As a rule, you should take the test when you feel you are within 30 points of your target score. If you are keen on taking the SAT Test in the spring, March and May are great times to do it. These tests fall before the pressure of final exams and term papers sets in, allowing you to really carve out the time to focus on the SAT Test. June represents an optimal SAT Subject Test date, especially for tests in Science and History. You will already be filled to the brim with facts and concepts in these topics as you prepare for finals, so why not kill two birds with one stone and knock off an SAT Subject Test or two. That said, if you are a junior preparing to take the AP tests in early May, you may consider taking the SAT Subject Test in the same subject as your AP test during the May SAT Test date. Doing so allows you to integrate and concentrate your time and focus on two tests at once in the same week.
Many students have wonderful success taking the SAT Test in the fall, especially in October and November. These two SAT Test dates fall before the oven of college applications really heats up, and affords a nice window to focus on the exam. Also, many students who found themselves struggling with the SAT Test in the spring, come into the fall of their senior year really switched on. These students have grown a year wiser and ride the wave of confidence that juices a senior in high school! The fall is a great time to rock the exam and sail full speed into the college application process.