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Tips for Effective Summer SAT/ACT Prep

By Huntington Learning Center

For high school students, the school year is very busy. School work in and of itself is demanding, and the work of researching colleges and preparing to apply to them begins for many as early as sophomore year.

That’s why summer is a welcome opportunity for college-bound high school students to focus their efforts on all things college – especially preparing for the SAT and/or ACT. Summer is a break from school, and the best chance for students to focus their time on preparing for the exam they plan to take.

No Better Time Than Summer

Aside from the obvious (a more relaxed schedule), there are many other reasons that summer is the best time for SAT/ACT prep:

  • The summer schedule gives juniors time to focus on success. While many high school students take the SAT/ACT for the first time in the spring of their junior year, there is no harm in planning ahead. And as many students experienced in the last year, disruptions can happen. Students who begin preparing in summer don’t need to worry as much should a test date get moved or cancelled, because they’ve given themselves plenty of time.
  • For seniors, summer prep offers one final chance to earn a strong score. Many students like to retake the SAT in August and the ACT in September one final time before they start applying to schools. And with the quiet of summer, they can really put all their attention toward targeted studying and practice exams in order to achieve their best scores before applying in the early fall.
  • Summer prep helps students improve skills lost during the past school year. There’s a lot of crossover in content tested on the SAT/ACT exams, so summer test prep can be an excellent way for students to reinforce skills and solidify knowledge headed into the next school year.

Why Taking the SAT/ACT is Still Worthwhile

The SAT and ACT have been made optional by most colleges in the country, but this varies from school to school. Many colleges are extending their test-optional policies into the 2021-22 admissions cycle (and beyond). Some have decided to go “test blind,” wherein they will not consider test scores, even if submitted. But the majority of schools will still consider test scores for students who submit them.

In other words, students will not be penalized for not submitting scores, and many schools still value scores. So, there are many reasons to still take the SAT/ACT:

  • Some schools use SAT/ACT scores to screen students for scholarships.
  • Some schools use SAT/ACT scores to admit students to certain academic programs within the university or college.
  • The SAT/ACT can serve as a standardized measurement of academic performance in a uniquely challenging school year in which your student’s GPA might not reflect their full potential and typical academic performance.
  • Strong SAT/ACT scores can strengthen a student’s overall application package and set them apart.

All of these benefits mean taking the SAT/ACT is still important for your student, especially if applying to a more selective school, seeking scholarships, or applying to a particular program within a school.

Students Who Haven’t Been Able to Take the SAT/ACT Can Prep Over Summer

Spring 2021 saw many states cancel SAT/ACT exam dates due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. That means some juniors (who are now seniors) were unable to sit for the exams as planned. This summer is their chance to prepare for and succeed on these exams.

Call Huntington to Learn More

Summer is the best time for SAT/ACT prep! Set your student up for success with a customized, one-to-one test prep program with Huntington. Call 1-800 CAN LEARN to find out more about our programs for seniors applying to college in the fall, juniors wanting to strengthen their test scores, and rising sophomores who wish to get a jumpstart on the process.