Admit It! You believe Saturday mornings are for sleeping in, homemade hot breakfast and cartoons. If you’re like most high school students, you likely want to put off taking the SAT or ACT as long as humanly possible. Well, you can sleep in, eat mom’s pancakes and catch up on your cartoon staples most weekends but save one of your upcoming Saturday mornings for the SAT or ACT.
While those of you who are currently high school juniors probably think they have all the time in the world to take an SAT or ACT, the sad reality is, you don’t. This goes double if you’re planning on applying to any school under its early decision or early action plan. The SAT has test dates in March, May, June and October. The ACT will be administered in April, June, September and October. Taking a standardized test in the spring of your junior year allows you to receive your results and determine if it’s in your best interest to take the test again (or to try the other exam) with plenty of time to take another exam and still have all of your information to colleges by November/December of your senior year.
Many colleges will not penalize you for taking multiple standardized tests. At W&M, if you take the SAT multiple times, we combine your best individual components — from different test dates — into your best combined score. If you take both the SAT and the ACT we will look only at whichever composite score is the highest. So, unless you hit it out of the park your first time, it is in your best interest to take each exam at least once or take one exam at least twice (don’t go overboard however, usually after three attempts you will see little if any improvement in your results so save some Saturday mornings for snoozing).
So set your alarm, grab a granola bar, DVR your cartoons and head out the door on one of the upcoming Saturday mornings. When athletic games/meets, concerts, Homecoming and senior traditions arrive in the fall, you’ll be glad you have your Saturdays free to do anything other than take a standardized test.
Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ’09
Senior Assistant Dean of Admission