For scheduling purposes, high school seniors have plenty of SAT and ACT options between now and the dates by which most college and scholarship applications are due. Juniors should generally look more toward dates after the first of next year to begin testing.
Because the tests are entirely interchangeable for college admissions, it's become increasingly popular for college-bound students to take both. One strategy is to take each in the spring of junior year and repeat the stronger in the fall of senior year. Obviously the second test isn't necessary if you hit the ball out of the park the first time.
Signing up online is faster and costs the same as registering by mail. With online registration, you will know immediately if your favorite test center has space and you can print your admission ticket.
Wherever you happen to be in the process, take note of registration deadlines and try to schedule tests as soon as possible to ensure getting your preferred test venue and avoid pesky late test fees:
October 9, 2010—SAT and 7 subject tests plus French and Spanish. Registration deadline: 9-10-10.
November 6, 2010—SAT and 7 subject tests plus 6 “language with listening” subject tests. Registration deadline: 10-8-10.
December 4, 2010—SAT and 7 subject tests plus World History, Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish. Registration deadline: 11-5-10.
January 22, 2011—SAT and 7 subject tests plus French and Spanish. Registration deadline: 12-23-10.
March 12, 2011—SAT only. Registration deadline: 2-11-11.
May 7, 2011—SAT and 7 subject tests plus French and Spanish. Registration deadline: 4-8-11.
June 4, 2011—SAT and 7 subject tests plus World History, Latin, Modern Hebrew, French, German, and Spanish. Registration deadline: 5-6-11.
SAT’s are administered at high schools in every corner of the DC metropolitan area, but note that test center availability varies by administration date. Also, be aware that students needing to apply for "accommodations," must do so well in advance of the posted registration deadline. For more information or to register for a specific test date, go to the College Board website.
September 11, 2010 (only within the 50 states; no test centers in DC)—Registration deadline: August 6, 2010
October 23, 2010—Registration deadline: September 17, 2010
December 11, 2010—Registration deadline: November 5, 2010
February 12, 2011 (no test centers in New York)—Registration deadline: January 7, 2011
April 9, 2011—Registration deadline: March 4, 2011
June 11, 2011—Registration deadline: May 6, 2011
In general, requests for special accommodations must be postmarked by the registration deadline for any test date. As of the 2010-2011 testing year, the ACT has added online options for students with disabilities who can test at national test centers and for students who wish to test standby. Visit the ACT website for additional information or to register for a specific test date.