College Board administers the SAT seven times each year, with test dates in the months of August, October, November, December, March, May, and June. The ACT is also offered seven times each year. It is important to note, however, that ACT and SAT test dates are not the same.
Most students will only take the SAT or the ACT. A few students, however, will choose to take both exams. Because these tests are offered on different dates, students wondering when to take the SAT and ACT, who plan to take both exams, are offered a bit more scheduling flexibility.
In this article, we will review whether you should take the SAT or ACT, in addition to answering questions such as why take the SAT? and when are SAT test dates? So if you have questions about when to take the SAT test, read on for a comprehensive list of ACT and SAT test dates.
Why take the SAT?
Standardized test scores are important factors in your college applications. They add credibility to your applications and help distinguish you from your peers. This is especially important if you are applying to highly-selective schools such as Ivy League colleges. Additionally, some scholarship applications require SAT and/or ACT scores. Due to these factors, you should plan to take the SATs and/or ACTs as a part of your college application.
That said, it’s important to acknowledge COVID-19’s impact on SAT and ACT tests and the rise of “test-optional” admissions. Many schools no longer require standardized test scores. They do, however, still accept standardized test scores, and an impressive SAT and/or ACT score will only help you.
Is it better to take the SAT or ACT?
While many colleges require standardized testing, a student can take either the SAT or the ACT. Students applying to highly-selective colleges often choose to take both exams. Generally speaking though, you only need to take one exam and colleges don’t have a preference for which exam you take.
While the SAT tends to be a more popular choice on the east and west coast, the ACT is a more popular choice in the Midwest. This preference, however, shouldn’t necessarily dictate your decision. Feel free to take either test. Some students choose to take both exams. This is usually the case if they are applying to highly-selective colleges or if they want to compare individual test results.
How many times should you take the SAT and ACT?
Many students wonder when do you take the SAT in high school? You may also want to know how many times to take the SAT.
Generally, you should plan to take the SAT and/or ACT two to three times prior to submitting your college
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applications: once during the fall of your junior year and once during the spring of your junior year, with the option to take your exam once more (if needed) during the fall of your senior year.
Make sure that you prepare for your exams by following a study schedule and familiarizing yourself with all of the helpful tips for taking the SAT.
When to take the SATs
Costs associated with the SAT and ACT
How much to take the SAT?
It costs $60 to register for the SATs. You will be charged a $30 late fee, however, if you do not meet the regular deadline. Regardless of whether you pay the late fee, you still need to register by the “late registration deadline.”
International students must pay the standard $60 registration fee, along with a regional fee, specific to their country. This regional fee ranges from $43 to $53. It is also important to note that international students are not eligible for late registration.
How much are ACT tests?
It costs $63 to take the ACT without Writing and $88 to take the ACT with Writing. If you do not meet the regular registration deadline but are able to meet the late registration deadline, you will be charged a $36 late fee.
It costs significantly more to take the ACT as an international student: $171.50 without Writing and $196.50 with Writing. International students are eligible for late registration, at an additional rate of $36.
SAT test dates (College Board) 2022-23
As you compare different SAT test dates and locations, do your best to prioritize the registration deadline so you are not subjected to the $30 late fee.
SAT Test Date
Late Registration Deadline
August 27th, 2022
July 29th, 2022
August 16th, 2022
October 1st, 2022
September 2nd, 2022
September 20th, 2022
November 5th, 2022
October 7th, 2022
October 25th, 2022
December 3rd, 2022
November 3rd, 2022
November 22nd, 2022
March 11th, 2023
February 10th, 2023
February 28th, 2023
May 6th, 2023
April 7th, 2023
April 25th, 2023
June 3rd, 2023
May 4th, 2023
May 23rd, 2023
ACT test dates 2022-23
As you compare different ACT test dates and locations, do your best to prioritize the registration deadline so you are not subjected to the $36 late fee.
ACT Test Day
Late Registration Deadline
September 10th, 2022
August 5th, 2022
August 19th, 2022
October 22nd, 2022
September 16th, 2022
September 30th, 2022
December 10th, 2022
November 4th, 2022
November 11th, 2022
February 11th, 2023
January 6th, 2023
January 20th, 2023
April 15th, 2023
March 10th, 2023
March 24th, 2023
June 10th, 2023
May 5th, 2023
May 19th, 2023
July 15th, 2023*
June 16th, 2023
June 23rd, 2023
Does your high school offer SAT school day?
Some schools offer an “SAT School Day” where students can take the SAT during school hours. This is meant to help students avoid potential transportation issues. It can also be comforting for students to take the exam in a familiar setting. In some cases, participating schools will even offer fee waivers for eligible students.
According to College Board’s policies, there are six potential dates your school could offer an “SAT School Day.” This year, they are as follows:
If you are unsure as to whether this is a program offered by your high school, check in with your guidance counselor for clarification and additional resources.
Factors to consider when you pick a test date
There are several important factors to consider when you pick an SAT or ACT test date. Firstly, how many times do you plan to take the test? Secondly, when are your college application deadlines?
It usually takes about two weeks to receive your test scores and a few more weeks for your results to be sent to colleges. This is why it is important to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time. Depending on the college, a late test score may even result in a disqualified application. Plan to take your exam no later than two months before your earliest application deadline.
Are you applying for any scholarships that require test scores? If so, when are your scholarship deadlines? Again, you don’t want to risk being disqualified by sending in late test results.
How much time do you need to study? Ideally, you should follow an SAT study plan and schedule template to prepare. If you are taking the SAT or ACT for the second or third time, what is your target score? Realistically, how much time do you need to study to reach this goal?
Do you have any other important upcoming exams scheduled, such as AP or IB tests? You definitely don’t want to double book yourself! That said, you also want to space out exam dates if possible. This way, you will be better able to properly focus on each exam.
Finally, make a list of upcoming personal commitments, such as sporting events, family parties, field trips, etc. Then, after considering all of the above factors, start looking at each test date.
Key takeaways and moving forward
Preparing to take the SAT and ACT is a lot of work! Thankfully, there are plenty of available resources meant to help you succeed. In addition to devising a study plan, many students will purchase SAT and ACT prep books and hire specialized tutors. After you’ve chosen the test date that works best for you, it’s time to start studying! Regardless of whether you are preparing for your first or third exam, here at Prepory, we have the resources to help you succeed: reach out to learn more about our services.