College Preparation Steps for High School Juniors This January

Jan 14th, 2014 | ACT, College Preparation, High school, Newsletter, SAT, Test Prep Classes, Test Preparation

The holiday season has come and gone, and now that your student is settled back into this next phase of junior year it is time to get through some more college preparation steps.

  1. Plan and/or Finalize Plans for College Visits: The mid-winter and spring breaks during junior year are an ideal time to visit colleges that your student might be interested in attending. Now is the time to finalize those plans. Check here for helpful college admissions interview tips, important questions to ask, and more.
  2. Register for an Early Test Date: Springtime is fast approaching, and it’s important for your son or daughter to register for an early SAT or ACT exam date. If the first set of test scores isn’t representative of your child’s abilities, there will be plenty of time to retake the test later in the spring if necessary. If the initial score is high enough, then he or she can use the remainder of junior year to concentrate on achieving strong grades and preparing for AP exams or SAT Subject tests. The next SAT test date is March 8, and the ACT is offered on April 12.
  3. Take a Test Prep Course: If your student is planning to take the March SAT, he or she should register for our test prep course, which started last weekend. There is still time to sign up and get registered for the class, and take a make-up class to cover the session your student missed. There is also plenty of time to prepare by doing individual tutoring. For the April ACT, your student should register now for the course beginning February 15th or 16th.

In our experience, it’s important to aim for the early spring test dates instead of waiting until May or June to take the exam for the first time. We hope that all of our students score well enough on their first attempt to make this unnecessary, but it’s only prudent to make plans for a retake anyway.

Remember, scores from the May exam don’t come back until the end of that month, which leaves only about a week to 10 days to address weaker areas and retake the exam in June. We don’t consider 7-10 days to be a sufficient amount of time to prepare well enough to retake the test and achieve a better score. If your student takes the exam for the first time in May, and needs to retake it, he or she will probably have to wait until next October, which means studying over the summer and working extra hard to avoid losing momentum.

At Sandweiss Test Prep, we are strong believers in trying to complete all standardized testing by the end of junior year, so that kids can focus on their college applications in the fall of senior year and not have to worry about more tests.

Good luck!

Featured photo from Flickr User Steven S.