From time to time standardized test-takers may find themselves facing an unpleasant decision of whether to sit for a scheduled exam or postpone it. This is a choice that must be evaluated thoroughly and carefully. You may consider rescheduling the ACT or SAT test date primarily if in the recent practice tests your scores were not where you want them to be and the scores reflect the fact that you are underprepared.
First and foremost, students and parents should know that rescheduling incurs a fee. The College Board charges a $29.00 “change fee” for moving an SAT test date. Similarly, it costs $30.00 to change an ACT test date. However, the change fee proves to be a small price when delaying results in a score increase.
Many students have entertained the thought of rescheduling their SAT or ACT exam date in order to earn a higher score. Here are three indicators that delaying your test date could be beneficial to you.
Even when you create a seemingly ironclad study schedule, unforeseen and unavoidable obligations may arise. Personal matters, such as a serious illness, or academic matters, such as college interviews, can consume time that you planned to invest in test preparation.
If your study schedule has been or will be interrupted due to an inevitable commitment, moving your exam date may be the right choice. Maintaining a consistent and thorough study regimen is key to optimum standardized test performance. Therefore, consider rescheduling your exam date to a time when you anticipate fewer commitments.
If you recently took several ACT or SAT practice tests and earned a result well below your target score, think about rescheduling your exam date. A lower-than-expected score often indicates that a student is under prepared, in terms of either test-taking skills or content knowledge.
A point to be stressed here is that one low score is not a strong enough indicator of a need to postpone testing. A single poor performance could be attributed to distraction, lack of sleep or a variety of other causes. However, when you receive two or more low scores on practice tests, and all other factors have been accounted for, then it is reasonable to assume that you simply need more time to prepare.
As you assess your level of SAT or ACT readiness, also disregard the results of any practice tests you have taken more than a few months prior. Your most recent practice test scores are the most accurate predictors of your performance on test day.
It may be smart to change exam dates if you will capitalize on the extra time before the later test. How you spend the extra time will, of course, depend on what your weaknesses are.
Students who are weaker in the area of content knowledge could use the time to pursue a prep course or private instruction. Those who struggle more with issues like testing anxiety could seek professional counseling or practice relaxation techniques.
We at Damian SAT ACT Prep Center, advise students to bear in mind that if they do move the exam date, they must use the additional time wisely and in a way that directly addresses the issue. Delaying the test without taking the appropriate course of action is likely to produce the same undesired results.
If any of these three situations applies to you, you should consider postponing your scheduled ACT or SAT. Before selecting a new test date, however, weigh other important factors, such as college application deadlines and anticipated school workload.