By Miles Kelly | February 28, 2024, at 10:00 a.m.

Over the last decade, we have witnessed a steady and remarkable shift towards year-round SAT and ACT testing.

With test dates and popularity increasing, students are no longer bound to the traditional May testing schedule during their junior year.

Now, they have the opportunity to take the test multiple times for greater academic success. 

Which Is the Best Month to Take the SAT and ACT?

Along with the move toward the average student taking the tests 3+ times, the SAT and ACT have continually added test dates and given students options throughout the school year and summer.

The only month of the year that doesn’t offer a Saturday test date for either the SAT or ACT is January, and May is no longer the most popular testing month.

That crown now belongs to March, when students can take both a Saturday test date and free admission at most high schools.

Summer Rises as Test Prep Season

One time of year that has traditionally lagged behind the others is summer.

Traditionally, students took a break from test preparation during the summer months when they were on vacation, but summer is quickly becoming a prime prep period.

With both tests being administered in June, an ACT in July, and an SAT in August, there are now multiple options for summer month testing.

Maximizing Study Time

Along with these newer dates, students are finding that summer test prep offers some unique benefits.

The prime benefit is the absence of schoolwork, which frees time and attention for test-specific studies.

Many students struggle to find time for prep during the school year when their attention is divided between homework and extracurricular activities.

However, the same students can focus more time and energy during the summer months, even if they’re juggling summer jobs and travel.

Keeping Skills Sharp for Fall Test Success

What makes summer prep a win-win is the added benefit of keeping math, grammar, and critical reading skills sharp during a time when most students allow these skills to become rusty.

This summer prep also dovetails nicely with the fall test dates, which are concentrated in September, October, and November.

In the past, it has cost students valuable time refreshing concepts they learned in the previous year, but when students prep through the summer, they gain an advantage over non-prepping students in the early fall test dates.

As year-round testing becomes a reality, summer prep has gained immense popularity.

While some students may not prefer to prepare during the summer months, it is worth considering the many benefits it offers.

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