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Who Should Take the October ACT or October/November SAT

There is an 8-month window when students should take their first ACT and/or SAT test. Hitting the ideal date will help students avoid overwhelm, nail the target ideal score they are capable of, and set them up to be finished with testing as early as possible to focus on other important aspects of the college bound journey. 

So who should register for the October and November test dates by early to mid-September?

Which Seniors Should Test Again

Seniors should test if they...

  • Have not yet tested at least twice on the ACT or SAT
  • Have not hit the median ACT or SAT score for the colleges where they are applying this fall
  • Desire to have one more try before submitting applications

While many Early Action and Early Decision deadlines are in October and November, Regular Deadlines are often not until January. If any of the above criteria fit and some deadlines are after November, testing this fall could open doors. Generally, scores can be released as early as ten days post testing leaving time to get them quickly sent off to colleges.   

Some Juniors Should Take the ACT or SAT This Fall

  1. Do you still need to take algebra 1 & 2 as well as geometry?
  2. Have you tested at least two times?
  3. Are you a top scorer and confident you can't do better?
  4. Are you certain of your college list and that your scores are at or above the average for students previously admitted?
  5. Are you looking forward to a non-busy, easy junior year?
  6. Are you 100% certain all of your colleges will be test optional and they embrace test optional? (You can read more about Test Optional in our previous post.) 

If NO is the answer to the junior questions, then testing this fall dates might be ideal if...

  • This isn't your super busy extracurricular, marching band, the school musical this fall could all interfere with scheduling
  • You have time to prep 
  • You have completed math up through algebra 2 before the junior year

The good news is there are plenty more test dates up until the submission of college applications if you are too busy this round. 

For those on the fence of what an ideal testing timeline is, our next ACT-SAT Planning Workshop can provide clarity on the junior timeline for testing and much more. Learn more here.  Test prep options with guaranteed results are here. 


ACT Dates for 2023-24

  • September 9
  • October 28
  • December 9
  • February 10
  • April 13
  • June 8
  • July 13

SAT Dates for 2023-24

  • August 26
  • October 7
  • November 4
  • December 2


  • March 9
  • May 4
  • June 1
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