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Who Should Take the December ACT or SAT?

Juniors - YOU may want to

take the ACT or SAT in December! 

It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark. If Covid has taught us anything, it's to plan ahead because we don't know what's next.

While in the past many juniors delayed testing until spring or summer, that can put your student in a precarious decision. Take Angie's story.

Angie's goal was to attend a direct admit nursing program and honestly her strong GPA and course rigor in high school had positioned her to do so....until lack of strategic planning derailed her. 

Her plan was to:

  • Take the free ACT her high school would offer in late winter as a cold baseline test
  • Schedule a retest in June with test prep leading to this date
  • Test again in July if necessary

Her story became:

  • She took her school ACT with less than stellar results that could potentially keep her out of a direct admit nursing program despite her excellent grades
  • She scheduled a retest in June that she was unable to take due to getting sick
  • The July test date conflicted with her family vacation
  • In August, as she started college applications, she realized that many colleges require nursing students to minimum ACT or SAT scores for admission despite many colleges being test optional; she can't apply test optional as nursing is one of the exceptions to test optional at some of her schools - YIKES! And nursing isn't the only exception. 
  • Finally, instead of having a smooth start to her senior year, she was knee deep in college applications and essays, navigating test prep, and still sitting for ACT tests as a senior.


Juniors are ready to take the December ACT/SAT if......

 they have completed Algebra 1 and Geometry and are at least 1/2 way through Algebra 2. 

By implementing this strategic plan below, your teen could be finished testing when they take the state funded ACT or SAT in late winter at school.

A strategic plan for juniors who fit the above profile for math completion is: 

  1. Register for a first ACT/SAT in the fall of the junior year, if they've not already tested in September, October or December.
  2. Take a LEAP prep course leading to the first test. You were planning to test cold? It's not a good idea! Take a free LEAP diagnostic ACT or SAT instead; these are actual, retired official tests you get to keep!
  3. Take the late winter ACT or SAT at your high school, if you school does state funded testing like Ohio does. 
  4. Hopefully you have taken 2 tests and have freed up time to focus on other important college-bound aspects. 

Some Seniors may still want to take the ACT or SAT in December.

It may not be too late, but this is likely your last possible test date. 

Many colleges which have "Regular Decision" deadlines in early January have explicitly stated on their admissions page that December test results will arrive on time. 

A few elite colleges like University of Chicago and Yale will allow testing as late as the February ACT as stated on their sites. 

If you applied "Early Action or Decision" at schools, double check their website for deadlines as many will allow you to continue to test after the application deadline and submit scores for consideration as is the case for Miami University in Ohio

Register at ACT or SAT.  Like all test dates, registration to sit for a test is about 4 to 5 weeks in advance. 

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