Many of our students at Damian SAT ACT Prep Center are wondering when is the last SAT / ACT they can take and be accepted for the applications. So, if you have postponed taking the test or if you want to improve your scores, you want to know really, when is the very latest you can take the SAT or ACT for your college applications?
Believe it or not, the window is closing by the day and certainly we are getting closer and closer to the end of the process.
The majority of the colleges have the regular decision college application deadlines taking place around January 1st. Some colleges have it set for mid or late December and of course there are some that are as late as mid January. As a rule of thumb New Year is the date to keep in mind as being the middle of the interval. The best to do is to look online and visit the websites of the colleges of choice and set a list of dates to be very clear and know which schools still accept your upgraded scores for applications.
Of course if you have applied early action or early decision, the deadline is way much sooner than the regular application.
The standard date you find out your admission decision is April 1 (though some colleges release results earlier in March). But while admissions decisions are finalized in March, applications are being read and evaluated long before then. Typically, applications are read for the first time in January and maybe February, and decisions are made in February and March. This is why having your entire application submitted by the deadline, including your SAT/ACT scores, is so crucial.
In order for scores to arrive in time to be considered in January, the last ACT/SAT test dates are usually in December. (For the 2018-19 school year, this is the SAT on December 1st and for the ACT is the December 8th. December scores usually arrive in time to be considered during the initial application reads in January and February.
However, if you take the tests in February or March, your scores won’t get to your schools until March or April, which is typically well after your application is read for the first time. (In 2019, this means the ACT on February 9 and the SAT on March 9.)
We advise our students at Damian SAT ACT Prep that since there is no longer a January SAT test date, this means December really is your last chance for the SAT for almost all schools. While a handful of schools do accept the February ACT, these policies aren’t the norm. Ideally, you want to finish your SAT/ACT testing before senior year so you can focus on applications exclusively.
If you’re taking any of the final test dates, you have to make sure you put your colleges down to receive your scores when you’re signing up for the last available test. In other words, don’t wait to see your scores before you send them, or else it will be too late!
If there’s an unforeseen problem with your scores or if they get delayed for any reason, colleges will know and sometimes accept a screenshot or printed version of the test scores. Or you can order from ACT and SAT for them to rush a copy of your score to the colleges of choice. That said, this won’t replace an official score report from the College Board or ACT, Inc., which needs to be sent along eventually.