Nov 16

2024 SAT® Gameplan

It’s SAT® season, and whether you’re a one-and-done tester or a repeat taker, knowing your test dates is your ticket to success.  Our 2024 SAT® Gameplan guide isn’t just about dates. We’re diving deep, giving you tailored reasons to pick the March, May, or June SAT®, and equipping you with a streamlined, effective strategy for your prep journey. Be sure to head over to the College Board’s schedule early to snag your spot and avoid those pesky late fees – it’s your time to shine. 

2024 SAT® Test Dates (March – June)

Test Date Registration Deadline Changes & Late Registration
March 9, 2024 February 23, 2024 February 27, 2024
May 4, 2024 April 19, 2024 April 23, 2024
June 1, 2024 May 16, 2024 May 21, 2024
*August 24, 2024 TBD TBD
*October 5, 2024 TBD TBD
*November 2, 2024 TBD TBD
*December 7, 2024 TBD TBD

*Fall testing dates have not yet been finalized by the College Board. 

Please be aware that the dates listed in these charts are derived from the College Board’s released data and historical SAT® testing schedules. Some of the details may still be pending official confirmation from the College Board. For the most current and officially verified information, we recommend visiting the College Board’s website at www.collegeboard.org.

March 9 SAT®: The Early Bird’s Strategy

Reasons to take the March test
  1. Strategic Retake Opportunity: Opting for the March SAT® offers a significant strategic advantage. If a student needs to retake the exam, they have ample time to review their results, focus on areas for improvement, and prepare for a subsequent attempt. The following SAT® dates in May, June, or August are perfectly timed for a retake, ensuring students can enhance their scores well before college application deadlines.
  2. Balanced Academic Workload: Taking the SAT® in March aligns well with the high school academic calendar. By this time, students have settled into their school routines and are less likely to be overwhelmed with the beginning or end-of-year academic pressures. This balance helps in allocating adequate time for SAT® preparation without the additional stress of heavy school workload or major school events.
  3. Optimal Timing for College Applications: The timing of the March SAT® is ideal in the college application timeline. With scores typically released in early April, students have their results in hand well before they start finalizing college lists and applications for early decision or early action deadlines. This allows for better planning and preparation for the college application process.
March 9 Gameplan
  • Now to Feb 23

    • Register by February 23.

    • Take a practice test to understand your baseline.

    • Seek out general test-taking resources to improve your score, or jump into a weekly group class to fast-track your growth.

  • February

    • Focus on your weaker areas.

    • Practice time management with full-length tests.

    • Consider private tutoring if you find certain sections particularly challenging.

    • Crank up the intensity by joining a Cram Session before the test to gain an extra boost.

  • Early March

    • Reduce stress.

    • Get plenty of rest, eat well, and keep yourself healthy and hydrated leading up to test day.

May 4 SAT®: The Spring Sprinter’s Schedule
Reasons to take the May test
  1. Additional Preparation Time: Opting for the May SAT® gives students extra weeks to prepare, compared to the March date. This additional time can be crucial for thorough review and practice, especially for those who need more time to grasp certain concepts or test-taking strategies. It’s an excellent opportunity for students who start their preparation later in the school year to catch up and feel more confident on test day.
  2. Leveraging AP® Study Skills: The study techniques and strategies utilized for AP® exams — such as time management, understanding complex texts, and dealing with multiple-choice questions — are directly applicable to the SAT®. Since both exams are developed by the College Board, they share a standardized format and question style. Students can capitalize on their AP® exam preparation, using it to enhance their SAT® performance without significant additional study burden.
  3. Ideal for Juniors Beginning the Process: May is an ideal time for juniors to take their first SAT®. It allows students to get a sense of the test under actual conditions, leaving ample time for a retake in August, October, or November of their senior year, if needed. This timing is particularly beneficial for those who might need more than one attempt to reach their target score, as it provides a realistic gauge of where they stand and how much improvement is needed.
May 4th Test Gameplan
  • Post-March Test to Apr 19:

    • If you took the March SAT®, review your scores. Identify areas needing improvement.

    • For first-timers, continue regular study sessions and weekly group classes.

  • April Break:

    • Utilize this time for intensive review.

    • Practice time management with full-length tests.

  • Late April:

    • Fine-tune your skills.

    • Focus on test-taking strategies and pacing.

    • Reduce stress and focus on health/energy leading up to test day.

June 1 SAT®: The Summer Starter’s Plan

Reasons to take the June test
  1. Post-AP® Exam Momentum: By June, students have just completed their AP® exams, which means they are at the peak of their academic preparedness. The rigorous study and understanding of complex concepts for AP® exams translate well to the SAT®. Students can leverage the momentum and depth of knowledge gained from AP® exam preparation to excel in the SAT®, especially in areas of critical reading, data analysis, and problem-solving.
  2. Less Academic Pressure: In June, most schools are nearing the end of the academic year. This timing often means a reduction in regular school workload, allowing students to focus more intensely on SAT® preparation. The skills honed during the year, particularly for AP® courses, such as analytical writing, comprehension of complex texts, and advanced mathematics, are still fresh and can be effectively applied to the SAT®.
  3. Long-Term Planning for Seniors: For rising seniors, the June SAT® is an excellent opportunity to set a baseline score or improve upon a previous score. This timing is especially beneficial for those who might not have achieved their desired score in earlier attempts. With the whole summer ahead, students can identify their weaknesses, plan a targeted study strategy, and potentially retake the SAT® in August or October, well before college application deadlines.
June 1st Test Gameplan
  • Post-May Test to May 16:

    • Reflect on the May test if you attempted it.

    • Continue to build on your knowledge and skills.

  • May:

    • School’s winding down, so ramp up your study time.

    • Mix in subject-specific drills with full tests.

  • End of May:

    • Transition into summer with a clear mind.

    • Ensure you’re well-rested and ready.

Fall 2024 SAT®: The Long Haul
Reasons to take the SAT® in the Fall
  1. Extended Summer Preparation: The summer break provides an excellent opportunity for focused SAT® preparation without the distraction of regular school work. Students can use this time to intensively prepare, review areas of weakness, and develop test-taking strategies. This uninterrupted study period is particularly beneficial for mastering complex concepts and practicing under test-like conditions, leading to potential improvements in scores.
  2. Fresh Start in the New Academic Year: Taking the SAT® in the fall, such as the August or October dates, means students are taking the test fresh off their summer preparation, with concepts and strategies still top of mind. Additionally, for seniors, this timing aligns well with the beginning of the school year, allowing them to include their updated SAT® scores in early college applications.
  3. Strategic Timing for Retakes: For students who have already taken the SAT® in the spring or summer, the fall SAT® dates provide an opportunity to retake the exam after additional preparation. This is especially advantageous for those who identify specific areas for improvement and spend the summer addressing these. Retaking the SAT® in the fall can lead to score improvements, which are beneficial for students applying for early action/decision or regular admission.
Fall Test Gameplan
  • Summer:

    • For the August test, keep a steady study pace. Don’t let summer fun derail your study schedule.

  • September to December:

    • For later tests, use the start of the school year to create a balanced study plan.

    • Regularly review past tests and seek help for persistent challenges.

    • Jump into a weekly group class to gain upwards of 50 points on your exam.

General Tips Across All Dates

  • Consistency is Key: Regular, shorter study sessions are more effective than cramming.

  • Wellness Matters: Your physical and mental health directly impact your performance. Eat well, sleep well, and take breaks.

  • Stay Informed: Deadlines can sneak up. Keep a calendar with all registration and change deadlines marked.

  • Seek Support: Teachers, counselors, and peers are valuable resources. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice or help.

SAT® and AP® are trademarks owned by the College Board, which is not affiliated with, and does not endorse Tokyo Academics.

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