ACT and SAT Test Schedule

One of the biggest questions parents have about test prep is what test their student should take and when to begin to prepare for it.

To optimize scores, students should prepare for and take either the ACT or SAT, not both. Every college in America now accepts both tests.

Most students take the ACT or SAT in the spring of their junior year, and, if necessary, in the fall of their senior year.

Here are a few important differences between the ACT and SAT:

ACT vs. SAT

ACT

Speed Test

More questions, less time per question

Straightforward questions, similar to school testing

Four Sections: math, reading, writing and science

Math: all calculator

Optional essay offered

Total time (without essay): 2 hours and 55 min

Total available points: 36

SAT

Power Test

Fewer, wordier questions

Requires more critical thinking and analysis

Two sections: reading/writing and math

Math: part calculator and part no calculator

No essay offered

Total time: 3 hours

Total available points: 1600

ACT Schedule

ACT Test DateIdeal Time to Start Prep
June 12, 2021February/March 2021
September 11, 2021June 2021
October 23, 2021 July 2021
Dec 11, 2021September 2021
Feb 12, 2022November 2021
April 2, 2022January 2022
June 11, 2022March 2022
July 16, 2022April 2022

Register for the ACT here.

SAT Schedule

SAT Test DateIdeal Time to Start Prep
June 5, 2021February/March 2021
August 28, 2021June 2021
October 2, 2021July 2021
November 6, 2021August 2021
December 4, 2021September 2021
March 12, 2022December 2021
May 7, 2022February 2022
June 4, 2022March 2022

Register for the SAT here.