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

"Katherine is very focused and identifies my problems very quickly, and therefore is able to help me with exactly what I need. I have learned a lot from her despite the fact that I only had four days of tuition." ... 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.

Mathematics, ACT & University Admissions Counselling | Talal Al-Nawab

"Our son worked with Talal during high school, initially as a math tutor during Sophomore year. They hit it off right away and quickly established a positive and successful working relationship. We then hired Talal to tutor our son for his upcoming ACT exams (he had done mock exams for both the ACT and SAT and we decided that the ACT was best for him, given his learning profile). Talal was extremely helpful in guiding our son through the process by keeping him organized and motivated… celebrating the victories, while focused on the work that still needed to be done. He was very flexible working with our son’s busy schedule and other commitments, keeping the stress level down. Our son's ACT composite score increased by an impressive 6 points! Talal also helped with the university application and essay process. It was the best thing we could have done, taking us parents out of that already highly-charged process. Talal kept him to a realistic schedule, with milestones set over a number of weeks, so there was no crazy 'crunch' as application deadlines approached. The essays were supported at just the right level: edited mostly by Talal for grammar and punctuation, allowing our son’s voice, personality and story to shine. We are so grateful and appreciate Talal’s steady hand, kind manner and patience in guiding our son through the university process." ... 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 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 have experience teaching a range of ages, both privately part-time and in full time employment as a teacher at Hurstpierpoint College, where I worked for a year before starting my degree at Oxford University. I have a particular interest in entrance into the UK's top schools and Universities, teaching 11 plus, Common Entrance, and preparing students for Oxbridge. I am aided by a detailed understanding of UK independent schools as well as experience preparing for the American education system at ISEE and SSAT level in particular. I have delivered private tuition to children between 5 and 20 years. I find tutoring immensely rewarding and particularly enjoy the focused nature of assisting an individual with their academic goals. ...
Having worked in the education space for over four years as a Senior Academic Mentor and University Admissions Counsellor, I have built up my experience of working with a wide range of students. My primary focus has been on SAT & ACT tutoring, US & UK University Admissions Counselling, and general high school Mathematics tutoring. I take a 'mentorship' approach to my work with students and focus on building a strong relationship based on trust and respect to ensure that students feel well-supported and are able to improve their abilities and performance levels. ...
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'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 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 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. ...
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. ...
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. ...