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 | Peter Minnig

"Peter has worked really well with [my son]. And [my son] would definitely like to schedule more classes with Peter." ... See Peter Minnig's tutoring profile.

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

"I just want to let you know that the SATs went well for me yesterday. Nothing tripped me up. Thank you very much for the hours of tutoring. They certainly helped me a lot." ... 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 I | Dr Katherine Wiles

"Katherine was incredible. [My daughter's] score improved beyond even her own expectations. She ended up perfect scoring Critical Reading which was her weakest section!" ... 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.

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.

I was born in New York City, but my family spent time in China before moving to the UK. I attended schools in North London and applied to universities in the US and UK, so I am familiar with the challenges associated with both applications. I attended the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, where I was a Regional and Comparative Studies major. I have experience teaching English abroad and have worked with students in a wide range of different age groups. ...
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 grew up in London, and was in school at Godolphin and Latymer before deciding to head to the US to attend Phillips Academy, Andover for high school. I then went on to study History of Art at Harvard University where I graduated magna cum laude with high honors. After two years working at an art gallery in New York, I returned to London where I received my Master's degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art. I have since returned to New York where I am working toward my PhD at CUNY Graduate Center.

Throughout my education I have benefitted form tutoring to help me achieve my academic goals and I understand how effective one-on-one teaching can be in preparing for big tests, catching up in a specific subject, and also building confidence. I am particularly experienced in helping students prepare for US independent and boarding school entrance examinations (ISEE, SSAT) and in working with students who need help with their personal essays or general applications for boarding school or university. As an alumni admission representative at Phillips Academy, I have worked with many students who are working on preparing applications to boarding schools and enjoy helping them to identify their strengths and use those to build a strong application. ...
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. ...
After graduating from Harvard with a B.A. in Neurobiology I worked as a management consultant in the US for three years before starting the graduate medicine course at King's. I taught my first class in public speaking at the age of 17 and have sought out opportunities to teach and mentor others in everything I pursue. To that end, I joined Wentworth Tutors in 2018. ...
After finishing two degrees from Stanford and Kingston Universities (covering a range of topics from philosophy of religion and mathematics to critical theory) I am now preparing to teach philosophy in prisons and studying to become a psychoanalyst. ...
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 am a current graduate student, attending the Courtauld Institute of Art where I study German Modernism. 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 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. ...
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. ...
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. ...