Thinkwell Resources

How To Plan For Testing

Testing season is in full swing! These suggestions will help you tailor a plan for your student that will minimize stress as much as possible. 

  • Start early. Every fall, we hear from stressed seniors who wish they hadn’t waited to prepare.  They are juggling college applications, homework and extracurricular activities, so adding testing to the mix feels impossible. Starting to prepare junior year will give your student plenty of time to study and several options for test dates.
  • Consider your student’s schedule.  We sometimes get calls from parents who are concerned that their student’s testing timeline is different from a classmate’s plan.  Choosing which dates to test should be based on your child’s goals and their travel, academic, and extracurricular schedules.  If your son or daughter runs cross country or stars in the December play, fall might not be the ideal time to test.  Sit down with your child and your calendars and look at the available dates.  Do the dates fall near finals?  Will you be out of town for sports or vacation on any of the dates?  Strategize about the best test and plan your preparation schedule backward from there.  
  • Choose the right test for your student. Schools across the country accept both the ACT and SAT.  As a result, some families decide to prepare for both tests, but choosing the right test from the beginning will save time, money, and stress.  To be sure you are choosing well, have your student take a full-length practice test for both exams.  You can find those online or reach out to us for copies or to schedule a proctored test.  Once you have the data from both tests, you can compare to determine the best fit. 


You can find a practice SAT here.

The practice ACT is available here.

Correlation scales are available here.


Please don’t be shy about reaching out with questions.  Every student is different, and I’m always happy to talk through your child’s circumstances and the best plan for achieving his or her goal score.

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