When To Take The SAT and ACT When Applying to US Universities

The SAT or the ACT should be taken at some point in the penultimate year of high school (or Year 12 or Lower 6th or AS). In an optimal scenario, a student prepares for the exam over the summer before the penultimate year, and then takes the exam in October, November, December, and January.

When To Take The SAT and ACT When Applying to US Universities

The SAT or the ACT should be taken at some point in the penultimate year of high school (or Year 12 or Lower 6th or AS). In an optimal scenario, a student prepares for the exam over the summer before the penultimate year, and then takes the exam in October, November, December, and January.

When To Take The SAT and ACT

The SAT or the ACT should be taken at some point in the penultimate year of high school (or Year 12 or Lower 6th or AS). In an optimal scenario, a student prepares for the exam over the summer before the penultimate year, and then takes the exam in October, November, December, and January with a final score locked in before end of year exams approach. Then, subsequent dates can be used to take subject tests and push a good score to a great one. Furthermore, come time to write the application in US universities, a student knows which schools are in range and can select early admissions and regular admissions targets.

Sometimes students continue to take the exams through the first half of the final year of school if the exam is proving challenging or a decision is made to switch the choice of exam. Generally, we do not advise switching, but we have had several examples where it has been the appropriate choice, particularly for students for whom English is a challenge.

SAT and ACT Exam Dates

The SAT and ACT have exam dates roughly once per month. The exams can be taken any number of times. Schools usually superscore which means that they take the best individual section scores across all the dates that the exam was taken. Historically, schools looked for students who performed very well on their first or second try, but this has become less relevant with the new exam format.

Additional Information

For international students who are not instructed in English, please be aware that additional exams (e.g., TOEFL) are required for admission to the US or the UK. Please do get in touch to discuss these exams and the requirements.

Plesae see our article on the SAT vs ACT for details on which exam to choose and frequently asked questions on the SAT and ACT. Contact us to hear how we can help you prepare for the SAT, ACT, or in your application to US universities

Selected SAT & ACT Testimonials

Please see below some example SAT & ACT Testimonials that we have received. If you would like to hear more, you may be interested to read about our tutor guarantee or to read about Wentworth Tutors' philosophy and approach in a letter to parents from Dr Katherine Wiles, our Founder. Alternatively, some more SAT & ACT Testimonials can be found on our dedicated testimonials page, where you can filter by subject.

SAT/ACT | Sophia Ohler

"We're very impressed with Sophia, she's lovely and [my daughter] gets on with her very well. Sophia is very inspiring and a good role model for [her]." ... See Sophia Ohler's tutoring profile.

SAT | David Wilkinson

"[My son] was feeling overwhelmed by time pressure in his exams. David has really built up his confidence and time-management and his scores have risen because of it." ... See David Wilkinson's tutoring profile.

SAT | Wentworth Education Private Tutoring

"[The tutor] was fantastic at knowing what parts of the Chemistry syllabus I hadn’t covered. My score improved from a 650 to a 790!"

SAT II [Physics] | Dr Katherine Wiles

"Tests have been a challenge for [my son] who has had many tutors before you (until now you and the math tutor are the only tutors who have actually made his score go up!). He got his best test score to date." ... See Dr Katherine Wiles's tutoring profile.

ACT Tutoring via Skype during Coronavirus | Samara Melwani

""[My daughter] has not yet taken the ACT, but Samara has been a pleasure to work with. She is warm and focused, gives clear guidance and homework, and is flexible for meeting by Skype (especially important with COVID-19, but she was already doing it before because [my daughter]'s school and sports schedule was complicated)."" ... See Samara Melwani's tutoring profile.

ACT & University Admissions Counselling | Talal Al-Nawab

"Going into the journey to university at the start of Year 12, I feared that seeking advice about my personal interests, regarding university and my future, with someone that I did not know might result in inadequate advice or shifting of my opinion towards some sort of ‘standard’ university choice or future path. Just after the first session with Talal, I could tell that I was mistaken in thinking so. Talal made me feel so comfortable with making many important choices. He let me know what was objectively favourable while at the same time keeping in mind that my opinion and interests were the main driving force influencing the process. His academic mentorship was highly valuable and helped me stay on track with my IB at school as well as allowing me to fully explore my academic interests through suggested summer programmes. Along the way, Talal also gave me help to prepare for the ACT test, formulate my personal statements and application letter, and ultimately come down to making the right choice. His sense of confidence and his undoubting manner of answering my questions took me from a wide field of choices and doubt to an assured set of possible paths and opportunities to consider for my future as I ended up applying to top universities in both the UK and Europe. I could not have been more pleased with Talal as a university counsellor and mentor to guide me along my path." ... See Talal Al-Nawab's tutoring profile.

Selected Profiles of our SAT & ACT Tutors

Please see below some example profiles of the SAT & ACT Tutors that we represent. If you would like to hear more, you may be interested to read about our tutor selection criteria or to read about Wentworth Tutors' philosophy and approach in a letter to parents from Dr Katherine Wiles, our Founder. Alternatively, some more profiles of our SAT & ACT Tutors can be found on our dedicated tutors page, where you can filter by subject.

Dr Caitlin Rea is a dual (US/UK) citizen, graduating from Harvard with a BA in Neurobiology and Anthropology in 2015. She graduated with a degree in medicine from Kings College London Graduate medical school in 2019 and has relocated from London to Edinburgh last year. She has been working for Wentworth since 2015 focusing on US school and college admissions. At Harvard, she worked for Veritas Education for 2 years and travelled to China to work as both a teacher and US college consultant. She also tutored children with Autism throughout college. Researching and teaching children who have learning difficulties is one of her main interests. Before Harvard, she completed her GCSE's and A-levels (Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geography) in the UK. Alongside her final year of A-levels, she completed the SAT and SAT II exams and went through the US college application process alongside her UK UCAS application. She is well versed in the various US entrance exams and the US application process. ...
I am a driven and enthusiastic tutor with over 8 years of tutoring experience. I have a passion for learning, and am currently completing a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at UCL.

Given my academic background, I have experience teaching GCSE, A level and undergraduate level Psychology. I also have experience tutoring creative writing, English literature / language, and maths.

I have spent time training and working at The Princeton Review in New York where I taught English as a second language to children and adults, and worked with highly driven students on US boarding school and university test preparation (SSATs, SATs, ACTs). I have a specialized knowledge of US higher education.

I have spent time working in a private children’s therapy clinic, and my career has lent itself to working with students with a diverse range of learning styles, including working with students with special learning needs (i.e. ADHD, autism spectrum, dyslexia / dyspraxia / dyscalculia etc).

I hold an MA in Clinical Psychology, and a BA in Sociology from the University of Toronto. I believe in recognising the unique potential in each of the students I work with. ...
I am a graduate of Durham University, where I completed a BA in English and Philosophy. Although I went to university in the UK, I grew up in New York, and completed all of my schooling in America. I attended one of the top boarding schools in the country, Groton School, on an academic scholarship. I took the SAT and AP exams, earning some of the highest scores in my class for both. I have been tutoring since the age of 15, as part of a tutoring program at Groton. I continued at university for English and Philosophy students, and post-graduation, here in London. Having attended both US and UK education systems, I understand and can work with both curriculums, especially with school and university entrance exams and processes. ...
I was brought up in Paris and moved to London to study at Imperial College, where I obtained a Bachelor’s and Master's degree in Theoretical Physics with High First Class honours. My research focused on the way in which alternative logic systems can help us bridge the gap between quantum mechanics and relativity. I was awarded Associateship of the Royal College of Science.

Although I am a science specialist, I also have a strong background in English and Verbal Reasoning. I sat the GRE in 2016 for entrance to US Grad School and got exceptionally good grades (Verbal Reasoning - 99th percentile, Analytical Writing - 93rd percentile).

Since 2011, I have offered private tuition for all major examination boards as well as working for the Imperial College summer schools. ...
I grew up in a family that moved every few years, so I attended school first in private academies in Singapore, then the U.S. public school system. I went on to Harvard University, where I focused on the social sciences and graduated with a degree in Women & Gender Studies. After working in tech in the US, including over 3 years building and leading the customer support organization at Uber, I am currently pursuing a Master of Science at the London School of Economics.

As a lifelong bookworm and overall nerd, I look to bring that excitement for learning to those around me, be that within a classroom or in the workplace. During my undergraduate years, I focused my extracurricular time tutoring in and leading an organization that provided free English Second Language classes. At Uber, I personally coached 11 direct reports to develop leadership, analytical, and people management skills, either directly promoting or facilitating their promotion to higher level roles within the company.

I am well versed in the US system, including AP and college entrance exams, and I particularly enjoy working with students through the entire admissions processes, especially when it comes to personal essays. In addition, I can support any students looking to gain presentation and data analysis skills. You can always count of me to bring some humor and levity to facilitate learning, whether the topic is the SAT exam or using Excel. ...
My passion for tutoring stems from my own personal experience with understanding the impact that excellent teachers can have on our lives. At Winchester College, the leadership and inspiration of my teachers motivated me to succeed, and is reflected in my consistently strong academic record. Having now graduated with a First Class BA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and successfully completed an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London, I am keen to share my understanding and passion of the sciences and mathematics with new students. ...
I was born and raised in the United Kingdom and won an academic scholarship to Sherborne School at the age of 13. When I was 16 years old my family relocated to the United States, so I completed my secondary education at a competitive high school in the Houston area. After quickly adjusting to the American system, I achieved excellent results in my AP exams and SAT tests and received a place in the prestigious Plan II Honours program at the University of Texas at Austin. I graduated a year early with high honours, a second major in History, and an undergraduate dissertation that was awarded special honours. I have years of experience tutoring for the SAT and ACT exams and experience teaching the American public school curriculum in the humanities. I specialize in preparing international students wishing to attend university in the United States. ...
I'm originally from New York, and have been living in London for a bit over a year now. After graduating from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing (Cum Laude), I received my Master's degree from the London Film School. I've been privately tutoring for years, as a peer tutor on Harvard's campus with the Bureau of Study Council, as well as with private agencies. I also have extensive experience as an Admissions Representative in the Harvard Admissions Office. I specialise in the American curriculum and US College Counselling, but know and work with the English curriculum as well. ...
I have just returned to the UK after 20 months in New Delhi, India, where I was working as an Education Consultant and teaching the SAT and ACT. I gained my undergraduate degree from Cambridge University, and have over three years experience teaching students from Primary age up to GCSE. I am open to residential positions and roles involving travel. I love to engage my pupils in extra-curricular activities such as sports, arts and crafts, trips and days out, and educational visits. ...
I specialise in US exam preparation, reading comprehension, Art History, English (writing and literature), History, and French language. I have benefitted from one-on-one tutoring throughout my education in order to prepare for standardized tests (ISEE/SSAT, SAT/ACT, GRE), which helped me build confidence and was a huge factor in my success. Having grown up in Manhattan and having attended boarding school and university in the US, I am intimately acquainted with the American educational system and the testing and admissions processes for US high schools and universities. Because of my background, I am well equipped to provide admission advice and counselling.

In New York, I attended a private, all-girls school, Convent of the Sacred Heart, before continuing my education at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. At Choate, I took many Advanced Placement and honors courses. I achieved a 35 (of 36) on my ACT and 5's on my Art History, French, English Literature, and European History AP exams. I attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee where I double-majored in Art History and French. Before beginning my graduate studies in September 2019, in order to improve my German, I attended the Middlebury College Intensive Summer Language Program in Middlebury, Vermont, an 8 week, immersive program where all classes and socialising are conducted in German. I moved to London in 2019 to attend the master's programme in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute (M.A. distinction, 2020; course: German Modernism: Politics, Utopia, and Times of Turmoil).

I am now the Project Curator of an online journal and exhibition space affiliated with MIT on art and migration and Performa director RoseLee Goldberg's research assistant for the fourth edition of her book Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present, focusing on performance and new media from 2010 onward. ...