For the first time in many years, the College Board is offering an SAT test date over the summer. Rising seniors will have the option to take either the SAT or SAT Subject Tests in August. But this lends itself to some questions about why the College Board made this change, who benefits, and who should take advantage of this test date.
A spokeswoman for the College Board, Katherine Levin, says that the summertime SAT will, “provide students with earlier opportunities to take the SAT before submitting college applications, and more time to focus on coursework, school activities, and college applications in the fall of their senior year.” But skeptics in the world of college admissions point out that the College Board also benefits by offering a test ahead of the September ACT. Students who are eager to get their tests out of the way may jump on the first option.
Regardless of the reason that the SAT is offering an August test date, it’s here for now. But it has left some high schools, particularly those here in New England, which wont be in session in August, scrambling to find staff to administer the tests. Additionally, students who need a fee waiver (typically determined by low-income families and students on the reduced or free lunch program at school) may not be able to get one in time for the August date. And finally, the test conditions in schools without air conditioning could be brutal.
Despite these challenges, which the College Board says they are well aware of, the August date is moving forward. And some students are really happy with this test date option. The fall can be a particularly stressful time, with seniors trying to fit in testing, essays, applications, interviews, etc. on top of their regular schoolwork. An August test date could free up a little bit of time, or take one thing off their “to do list”. And students who chose to take an SAT test prep course over the summer will be able to take the test as soon as the course ends instead of waiting a month.
In conclusion, if you want to take the SAT in August and feel that it will relieve some of the pressure for you in the fall, go for it. If you aren’t ready or will be away over the summer, skip it. You can still take it in October, November or December.
If you have specific questions about how the August SAT date could impact you, call us today.