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Taking The SAT Junior Year

Don’t think that you have to take the SAT during your senior year alone. In fact, there are plenty of good reasons for taking the SAT junior year.

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Choosing Your Junior Year SAT Test Date

Don’t sign up for a test date without thinking ahead. Take your time and consider a number of different variables first.

Remember, registration for the test year itself starts in April. If you’re really focused, you can start planning as early as sophomore year.

Here are factors to consider:

  • Schedule and commitments
  • Studying and practice
  • Retest opportunities
  • College application deadlines

Schedule and Commitments

High school junior and senior years are busy.

Not only do you have the SAT to worry about but other commitments like:

  • Extracurriculars
  • Family get-togethers
  • Vacations
  • Sporting Events
  • Prom
  • College Campus Visits

All of these things suck up valuable time fast. The good news is you can often plan out your schedule far in advance with things like extracurriculars, school events, and campus visits.

That’s why you should plot out everything else that requires your outside time 6 months to a year in advance. Afterward, you can see how many hours a week you have available for test prep.

Don’t sign up for a junior year SAT test date without knowing how much prep time you have beforehand.


Studying and Practice

To get the best possible score, you have to study and practice a lot.

There’s no getting around it. Setting aside practice time is important for several reasons:

  • Taking enough practice tests to adjust to the format
  • Address problem areas in different sections
  • Work on your answering times

Each one of these reasons plays a huge role in your SAT score success or failure. Don’t expect to score well on the SAT without devoting at least 6-8 weeks of concentrated preparation.

You should take weekly practice tests, in order to track your progress and get as familiar with the SAT format as possible. That means that instead of taking it in the Spring, perhaps you take the October test instead.

That way, you’d have the entire summer to work on practicing. No matter which test date you pick, backtrack at least 2 months of practice time in first.

Retest Opportunities

Don’t expect to get a perfect score the first time out.

You can take the SAT again. If you take the SAT in the spring of your junior year, there’s already three years of high school knowledge in your mind.

Combine that with at least 6-8 weeks of test prep, and chances are good that you’ll score well. However, students are often nervous while taking the real thing or are caught up on surprising questions. The final scores are lower, as a result.

However, you can take the test multiple times before graduation. Colleges and universities expect you to do so. The best course of action is:

  • Review that first test score report
  • Look at your problem areas
  • Practice again

This time you have the benefit of knowing what real test conditions are like and which sections need immediate improvement. In a case like this, taking the SAT first in spring, and then a retest in the fall is a good idea.

College Deadlines

Don’t forget that colleges need your test scores by specific deadlines.

You need to keep track of their admission deadlines and make sure your scores are in before their cutoff dates. Normally, during senior year, schools keep their regular decision deadlines in December or January.

Early action or early decision deadlines are normally in November. That means you need to have taken your tests well before then, so there’s enough time to send all of your score reports in.

If you take the SAT in your junior and senior years, you can provide enough score reports to help your admission case.


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Taking The SAT Junior Year FAQ

When is the earliest that I can register for the SAT my junior year?

April is the earliest that you can normally register.

How long should I study before taking the SAT?

Don’t expect to score well on the SAT without devoting at least 6-8 weeks of concentrated preparation.

What should I do to get ready for the SAT?

You should take enough practice tests to adjust to the format, address problem areas, and work on your answering times.

If I don’t do well on the spring SAT, when should I take it again?

Consider taking the October SAT test. That way, you have the entire summer to work on practicing and fixing your problem areas.

Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Written by Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Prep Expert Founder & CEO

Shark Tank Winner, Perfect SAT Scorer, Dermatologist, & #1 Bestselling Author
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