Is your high school junior on schedule with the necessary college preparation steps? Now that your son or daughter is settled into the school year, winter break is an optimal time to determine which big college entrance test your child should take.
It’s important to keep in mind that all colleges will accept either the SAT or ACT. We offer free diagnostic testing for both exams in order to determine which test is best suited for your child. In addition, we will provide a recommendation about the appropriate preparation options, how long the process will take, and the approximate cost.
Here’s a list of to-dos and helpful college preparation tips to get your student ready for a productive junior year.
- Take a diagnostic test. Now is the time to take diagnostic exams to determine whether the ACT or SAT is the better test for your student. If your child took the PSAT in October, you will not receive results until January, which is too late to begin our courses to prepare for late winter test dates.
- Based on the diagnostic results and our recommendations, register for either the February or April SAT, or the March ACT. This will allow sufficient time to re-take either exam later in the spring if necessary.
- Think about college visits. Winter break or mid-winter break are the ideal times to plan college visits, since classes will be in session and your student will get the best sense of campus life. Begin thinking about a list of colleges that your son or daughter might be interested in applying to. Click here for College Board’s interactive college search tool. As you plan your child’s college visits, consider visiting different kinds of schools in the area. Your child can get an idea of what his or her experience might be like at a school with or without fraternities/sororities, a private school vs. a public school, an inter-urban school vs. a rural school, etc.
- Now is the time to get as much information about colleges as you can. Visit your local public library (or our Sandweiss Test Prep office!) to look at college guidebooks. Check your high school counselor’s office and/or their newsletters to learn about college representatives who might be visiting your high school. You should be ‘window shopping’ for colleges as you and your child put together the list of places he or she might be interested in attending.
Stay tuned for more college preparation tips here on our blog. Remember that while test prep is important, colleges put more emphasis on grades! Study hard and focus on keeping your junior year grades at their best.