Which test should I take, and when should I take it?

Parents, you might feel blitzed with the start of the school year and the onslaught of standardized testing and college due dates, but this guide should make at least the testing part simple. Deadlines (listed at the end) are quickly approaching so make sure to register for tests ASAP!


Seniors should be registered and prepping for either an October or November test date. The UCs will accept a score from a December test date, but if your child is applying early anywhere the last test date is October (for SAT or ACT). Some schools will take a November SAT (there’s no ACT in November) for an early applicant, but you should confirm with the school. As for ACT vs SAT, seniors should take whatever test they feel more comfortable with. If they’re not sure, contact Phil


Juniors will be taking the PSAT sometime in October (the exact date depends on your high school but most likely either Oct 19 or 22). If your junior has been studying for the PSAT, October or November is a great time to take the SAT as well. The two tests are very similar, though the SAT has an essay that your child should read up on. If you think your child could use a refresher let us know and we can help. If your junior hasn’t been studying for the PSAT, you can wait until the scores for the PSAT come back sometime in January. However, if you suspect your child needs test prep, start as early as possible.


Many high schools offer sophomores an opportunity to take the PSAT. If you’re not sure, you can contact the counseling office at your high school to find out. If your child can take the PSAT, she should. For most sophomores it will be their first experience with a standardized college entrance exam. The earlier they are exposed to it, the better. You will have a baseline score and know whether you will need to sign up for test prep in the future.

Upcoming Deadlines

October 1 SAT registration deadline is September 1!

November 5 SAT registration deadline is October 7.

October 22 ACT registration deadline is September 16.

(There is no November ACT).


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