The middle two years of high school are typically when students start to picture themselves as future college students. They’ve found their stride in school, are digging into academics, sports, and extracurriculars and are looking down the road to their college applications.
So, when is the right time to start prepping for the SAT or ACT? “That all depends on the student and finding the right time academically in their high school career,” says Carla Pedersen, regional director at Academic Approach, the Lincoln Park-based organization dedicated to improving students’ standardized testing.
Successful test prep efforts work in balance with a student’s maturity, academic achievement, and extracurricular schedule, which means the right time is highly individual. “There’s no one perfect time for every student. Don’t let the fact that your daughter’s friend has been preparing for several months or a neighbor’s son starting preparing as a sophomore make you create a timeline that might not be relevant for your child,” Pedersen says.
Start with a conversation
Instead, start with a conversation with a director at Academic Approach, who will talk with you about your student’s goals, the colleges they aspire to, the level of math they have taken, and many other issues related to successful test prep. “Whether your student is a sophomore or a junior, this initial conversation will help you form a plan,” says Andrew Ferguson, director of client services at Academic Approach.
“That’s truly what our job is. We help families put together a