Whether you’re a sophomore, junior or even a senior in high school, signing up for the fateful SAT looms over you. Knowing how and when to sign up for this test can help alleviate some of the stress you are feeling. Here we break down how to register and some tips for when to take the SAT as a Sophomore, Junior and Senior.
How to Sign Up for the SAT
You sign up for the SAT through the College Board website. If you took the PSAT, you already have a College Board account and can just log on to your account to register for the SAT test date of your choosing. Signing up is simple and shouldn’t take any more than 20 minutes.
Some important information about registering for the SAT:
• Your Photo. You will need to upload a photo of yourself when registering for both exams to prove your identity the day of the exam. So be sure to have that on hand.
• Register Early. Registration for SAT test dates becomes available typically a few months prior to the actual date. What I would say is don’t put off registering for these tests. Testing centers fill up quickly, especially certain times of year (April/May/June and then over the summer into the early fall (July, August, September and October).
• Set Aside Time for Signing Up. Give yourself time and plan, plan, plan. If you don’t have a College Board account give yourself a good 45 minutes to set up your account. During the signup process, you will be asked a lot of questions. It’s just part of the process. Remember, we just live in their world and live by their rules. You will be asked to supply information about your grades, interests, intended major, college plans, among other things. By answering these questions and opting into the Student Search Service helps colleges and scholarship organizations find you and contact you.
When to Take the SAT
Now, let’s talk about the planning of when to take the SAT. If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you know that I’m all about not putting off until tomorrow what you can do today. So, here are my recommendations for when you should start taking the SAT.
Sophomore Year of High School
Many of you will have the opportunity to take the PSAT in October. Some, but not nearly as many, may be offered to take this test in the spring. If you can take the PSAT during your Sophomore year, do so. Although it may be early as far as the knowledge you have of the material covered, it is a good practice exam. These scores will never go to anyone but you. The known is better than the unknown, so taking this exam, getting a feel for the format and content, and knowing your baseline score will be helpful in preparing to take the SAT. Knowledge is power.
Junior Year of High School
I always suggest you take both the SAT and ACT in the late fall, typically in November for the SAT and December for the ACT. The SAT is usually also offered in December, but if you take the SAT on that date, you would be taking the SAT and ACT on back to back weekends, which may be a bit of overload. Why do I suggest you take both and why at this time? Because we want to know which test is better for you, which one you are more comfortable with, which one you score better on. Once you know, you can then focus on that exam, prepare for it and take it again in the spring of your junior year and potentially the summer prior to your senior year. The goal is to complete these exams by the end of your junior year, if at all possible. Trust me, this is a great relief if you can make it happen.
Senior Year of High School
Hopefully by senior year, you’ve taken your SAT tests and are just taking another one for the last time. I typically want my students to take the SAT for the last time at the end of August and the ACT early September. This way you have plenty of time to plan for how and when you will submit your applications.
Key Takeaway About Signing Up for the SAT
The bottom line is you want to sign up for and take the SAT and ACT early, decide which test is better for you, prepare for that test, take it again in the spring, once or twice, and then hopefully you will be done. If not, take the for the last time over the summer or the early fall, as in September/early October.
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