When should I take the SAT/ACT?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by BracesGlasses, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. BracesGlasses

    BracesGlasses Member

    Feb 20, 2012
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    I just wanted to know what grade(freshman, sophomore, junior , senior) should i take the SAT/ACT and is it possible to take it your 8th grade school year?
  2. USAFA: 2016!

    USAFA: 2016! Member

    Oct 21, 2011
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    I would recommend starting with the PSAT your sophmore year. Get ahold of some of the practice books and just work on them now and again when you have an hour to spare. Your junior year I'd say take it as many times as you can, and same goes for senior year. And don't forget, glancing through the study materials, taking a class, or having a tutor all help immensely. Best wishes!
  3. AFAYahoo

    AFAYahoo Member

    Apr 12, 2011
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    If you're still in 8th grade, there really is no point in spending the money to take the test. Just get a practice book if you feel you have to review. Like USAFA2016 said, you'll start with the PSAT your soph. year, with the opportunity to take the SAT and ACT in your junior year (and sr. if necessary). There are scheduled dates throughout the year so you can take either one again if you don't like the scores you get. The AFA superscores, meaning that if you take either test more than once, the AFA will take the best score from individual sections. So for the ACT, for example, your 1st math score could be your best, but science from the 2nd attempt could be better, so those are the ones the AFA will use. In general, a person's scores usually go up from test to test, maybe just because you're used to the format of the test and how to take it.
  4. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

    Apr 20, 2011
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    I agree with the other posters, start with the PSAT your So. year. I would expand on this to say take it again your Junior year as well. There are other scholarship opportunities that may come your way off the Junior year PSAT~National Merit Scholar. You may still start taking the SAT/ACT your Junior year. You probably have taken standardized tests before, these tests are just at the next level. One of my kids took it without studying and did very well, the other one had to spend an hour a day, every day, studying over the summer for a marked improvement the second time he took it. Overall he took it a total of three times. It depends on your scores and as always go for the highest possible.
  5. TheUnderdog

    TheUnderdog Member

    Jan 11, 2012
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    From your other post I am assuming that you are an 8th grader? Word of advice, do not worry about taking SAT/ACTs yet. Focus on getting the best grades that you can as a freshman. Try to take honors level courses and get As and Bs in those classes to start building a high GPA. Sophomore year you can start worrying about SATs after you receive your results from the PSATs. Still continue to take Honors and try for AP classes as they come available. Private tutors can really help for SATs but can be pretty expensive. I recommend taking the SATs in May of your Junior year, since I feel that is the best time. Bottom line is worry about your grades fresh/soph year. Then really start to prepare for the SATs after that.:thumb:
  6. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

    Nov 18, 2007
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    honestly I recommend taking the SAT/ACT earlier than may of your junior year. USAFA super scores so it is to your benefit to make sure you have several opportunities to take it. I took it my first time at the start of Junior year (September or October I think). I did okay but knew I could do better so I studied, focusing on where I made mistakes and raised almost every section by 100 when I took it in May. That way I had my scores ready to go when i applied the next year and didn't have to add that to the laundry list of other things to worry about. I was done with my app in August and received an LOA on October 11th.
  7. Shurstell

    Shurstell Member

    Apr 28, 2011
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    Actually, I think you should take it as many times as possible. Taking it more often will give you more experience in taking te test. They even have statistics that say people who retake tests typically score higher. I took the ACT for the first time during the 8th grade and earned a 23. I took it again my freshman year and earned a 26. During my sophomore year, a 30. I took it again right before summer seminar and earned a 32, the score I'm using now. I plan on taking it again if I'm not accepted this year, since I've learned more advanced math and sciences.

    The point is, taking the test over and over might be repetitive and expensive, but you gain experience from taking it. There is a high limit on how many times you can take the test, so don't be afraid of taking it too many times. The score is just too important!
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Nov 28, 2007
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    I agree to take it often, but honestly not at the OPs age. Start fall soph yr.

    Reason 1:

    Even if you are in advanced courses as a fresh., you still do not have an academic foundation to do well. It is spending 4 hours in a classroom on a Sat. with the folks paying 55 bucks. Why? You are never going to submit these scores for selection. Go to Amazon, buy an SAT study book for 20 bucks, or less on your kindle and call it a day.

    Reason 2:
    Everytime you take the SAT and submit the scores to the HS it will appear on your official transcript. They will see that you learned how to test for the test. Yes, they superscore, but 10 tests, if you take 3 a yr, is over kill.

    Reason 3:
    PSAT will be fall jr yr.
    ~~~ Taking the SAT in your soph yr, will prepare you for a higher score on the PSAT.
    ~~~ PSAT is the only way you can become an NMSF. That will give you an EC.
    ~~~ If you want to go to SLS, they will look at that PSAT.

    Reason 4:

    Applying to any SA is a marathon, and if you wrap yourself up into this at 14, by 18, you will be saying I can't spend 1 more Sat taking an SAT/ACT. However, that is when you really should be taking it due to an academic foundation perspective.

    Reason 5:

    The AFA will convert the ACT to the SAT, and you will see here that some do better on one compared to the other. If you are taking the SAT 2X a yr from 8th grade, and 2X a yr for the ACT, basically from Sept to May you are taking a test every other month for @4 yrs....see Reason 4.

    I am with TheUnderdog.
    Financially, it makes no sense at all.
    The SAT is only part of the WCS, and the PAR. Honors, and AP are also part of that, if you spend 8th/9th grade studying/taking the SAT and your class grades suffer your PAR will get hurt.
    Additionally, since SAT/ACTs are on weekends, you will be unable to strengthen the EC portion of the WCS. Hard to get a job, when you tell them that 1 Sat out of the month you can't work. Hard to be on a team sport if you can't compete or train. Hard to do volunteer hours.

    The AFA and AFROTC scholarship selections look at the WHOLE candidate. They don't want just the book smart kid. They want the kid that gets great academics while juggling a rigorous course load with sports, jobs, and volunteering.

    JMPO, if you will be a rising freshman this yr, you are still too young to have a job, so instead of taking the SAT next fall, volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, or the Food Shelter on Sats. Try out for a sport. Join clubs in HS and get leadership positions.

    Come soph yr you will have a strong PAR, plus you will have ECs. AP classes as a soph will give you the foundation for scoring higher on the SAT.

    If you look at the WCS system, you will see those appointed used their time wisely. They are more than just the best in one area.

    PS. I have to say, I hate the superscoring system. To me it is watering down the SAT. Back in the 1980/90's, the system was different. It is a system that AFROTC still utilizes. Best sitting. Superscoring allows applicants to have perfect scores, but in reality if you have enough money, you can get close to that score because you know how to take the test. Kids now take it with a plan. Study for one portion to pull the highest grade, next time study for the other portion to pull the highest grade. They do this because if they get a 750M/550CR and the next time they get a 650/720, they now have a 1470 for the AFA. However, for AFROTC they would have a 1390, and worse for them, they have a 650 M.

    Dirty little secret applicants don't know when they do the multiples. They are so busy on Plan A, they didn't realize they may have hurt Plan B; AFROTC scholarship.

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