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Today I had a very concerned mother, Barbara, ask me if she had made a mistake signing her daughter up for the March SAT. Seems another mother, Marcy, told her March was “harder” because “lots of smart kids take it in March.” Marcy also warned Barbara against October. She recommended May.
Here are some facts:
The tests scores are based on the test, not on the other test takers.
There is an equating section on every test that does not count towards the overall score. It counts towards making future tests, thus ensuring that a test score reflects the material tested and thus each individual student’s score. How could it be otherwise and still be a fair test?

If you study and feel ready then it is a good time to take the test.
Barbara’s daughter had been studying for 2 months- why wait?

March is a down time from many activities.
Many sports events and clubs are winding down in the beginning of March , so take the test at a time that fits your schedule.

Especially in NJ, March is ideal
State tests (such as HSPA) are administered the week before the SAT. Students are in “test mode” and they have a week free of homework to study! Perfect timing.

Relax! The SAT and ACT are hot topics, especially in Junior and Senior year. But, if you listen to every rumor, you will never find the test date that is perfect for you.

All the best!

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Great SAT preparation begins early

The best time to begin preparation for the SAT is January of the sophomore year. There are so many variables to consider: time frame, academics, maturity, and motivation.
Time frame
Sophomore year is a busy for many students, but not quite as busy as junior year is likely to be. In the junior year, many students are on varsity sports or in special ensembles in band and chorus, may take a paying job, may be visiting colleges, and are generally more active socially. In addition, students, especially those interested in more selective schools or special college programs, may be required to take subject tests (SAT II), which are administered on the same days as the SAT (SAT I – reasoning test-the one everyone takes). Some subject tests, such as language listening tests, may be available only on certain test dates. This means that the number of test dates available in junior year is significantly less than you may have first thought, meaning the number of spring test dates will be fewer, so you may have to test earlier than you thought- not possible if you don’t realize until late in the year.
Combine that with other obligations: Prom frequently falls suspiciously near the May date at many schools; a great sports team may have a schedule that extends far beyond the usual season; band and chorus competitions are numerous. The list goes on and on- juniors are very busy people.
Know the dates so you can plan ahead.
Above are just some conflicts that may affect test dates. Imagine trying to study intensely with all that going on! So, begin studying sophomore year. Math grades will improve, as will retention. And learn vocabulary now and skip the thesaurus when writing English papers- use your increased vocabulary- then you won’t lose it!

All the best!

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