Donna Cox
Office Location:
30 Lyman St, Ste 5
Westborough MA 01581
(c) 774-258-0409


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(Notes from our students)


 When should my child take SATs/ACTs?

Our standard advice has been that students take the SAT once in spring of Junior year (the SAT is offered in March, May and June) and then again, depending on their results, either later in the Spring or in fall of Senior year (beginning in 2017, there is an August SAT replacing the January date, and the traditional October, November and December dates will stay on the schedule), using the PSAT that most students take in the Fall of their Junior year as "practice" or as a "benchmark" for the SAT. Beginning in March of 2024, the SAT will undergo another change, this time to a digital format. More information about this as that date gets closer.

We have also always strongly recommended that every student take the ACT at least once, in second semester of Junior year; it is offered in February, April and June. Many students achieve better scores on the ACT than on the SAT, and this is good news for all students. If both sets of scores are good, then your student has an additional point in his or her favor; if the ACTs are significantly better, then your child can send those scores to the colleges and leave the less-favorable SATs unreported. CTG offers our students a "practice" ACT so they have a feel for the ACT and can compare it to the PSAT.

Both tests, as of 2010, have a "score choice" option. This means that a student may take either test two or even three times but may ask the College Board or the ACT folks to report only some of his/her scores to the colleges. The student may NOT cherry-pick individual scores from a particular date, but MAY specify either test's scores to be reported BY DATE. Be aware, however, that there are some colleges that require a student to send ALL of his/her scores; this will be clearly defined when the student is on the SAT or ACT website requesting that reporting. You might want to check the score choice policy of the colleges you're interested in during Junior year, as it may influence which test you take and how many times you take it.

So, back to the question of "when" to take the SAT and the ACT. We will begin to prep Juniors for their spring tests right after the Seniors have taken their last SAT, typically on the first weekend of October, or their last ACT, in mid- to late October.

We will prep anyone who opts for the ACT to be ready for either the December or the February ACT. If the ACT is clearly the student's test of choice, (s)he can take it again in April or June; it is always our goal to have testing finished before the end of Junior year and to relieve the student of having fall testing hanging over his/her head all summer. If the student also wishes to try the SAT, the student can take the first of those in March. Once the February ACT and March SAT scores are in, we can help your student evaluate both to decide which one to concentrate on going forward. Both tests are given two more times in the Spring -- May and June for the SAT, and April and June for the ACT -- so there are good options, even for students who will also take subject tests or who participate in Spring sports.


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