When to appear for Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
In India, the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) tests are usually offered on the first Saturday of March, May, October, and December every year. The best time to take the tests are all with respect to College Application Deadlines.
For a majority of the colleges, the Early Action or Early Decision Applications deadline is November 15th. For Regular Decision, the Deadline is 1st January/1st March. You want all your SAT exam scores in at least a month before you apply. For this, you need to make sure that your exam date is appropriate for this schedule.
Why is the end of your 11th grade the best time to take the SAT?
TThe December of the 11th grade is the ideal time to give the SAT exam dates. The Math test is all covered by the 10th grade and the English is where most people are stumped. With sufficient preparation for SAT exam, even the English sections can be tamed.
The shortage of test dates limits the time you have to give these exams. The 12th grade is where students have a hard time balancing academics, social service, extracurriculars and college applications and being done with the SAT is a big relief.
Results of the tests come out 3 weeks after you take it. So if you are unhappy with your SAT exam score the first time, you can give it again in March or May.
Choosing a date
The most important part about choosing a date is that you are relaxed and not worrying about anything else during your test. It is a 3 hour long test where you want to be fresh and ready to concentrate. Don’t pick a date where you have another School exam on the Monday after or a big Project due on the Friday before.
Often, the slots are already full and you don’t get your desired date. So, book your date well in advance. Some prefer to wait till the last minute, and once they are confident about their preparation, they start searching for the nearest available date. This can be a problem as you might not get a single date and have to wait for a long time which in turn affects your preparation leading to a BAD day.
Remember that you must leave some test date(s) for your Subject Tests as well!
May, June and October of the year you are applying are the months best suited for the SAT Subject Tests. The syllabus covered in the tests mirrors some of what is done in the 11th and 12th grade in school. We recommend May/June as it gives you time to maybe try another SAT Subject or re-do a test before you apply. Also the preparation required for these tests are much less when compared to the SAT Reasoning Test.