What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Best time for PSAT and SAT?

Hi folks! I'm starting to map out my testing schedule and I'm wondering, when's the best time to take the PSAT and then the SAT? Is there a strategic way to space them out or should I just take them as soon as possible?

8 months ago

Hi there! It's great that you're looking ahead and planning your testing schedule. Typically, students take the PSAT in the fall of their junior year. It's also offered to sophomores as practice, but that score doesn't count for anything, whereas the junior year score is used to determine National Merit Semifinalists.

For the SAT, many students opt to take it for the first time in the spring of their junior year. This timing allows you to build off what you learned about the test structure, and areas where you need to improve, from taking the PSAT, and also allows plenty of time for a retake if you aren't quite satisfied with your score—if need be, you can study over the summer, when you'll likely have more free time, and take a second shot at the test in the fall of your senior year. If you're thinking you may want to apply to some colleges during the early round of admission, rest assured that taking the test in the fall will still give you enough time to send your scores to schools in time.

Once you decide when you want to take the test, remember to check the registration deadlines and try to register early to secure a spot at your preferred testing location. And make sure to balance your study schedule with your schoolwork and extracurriculars. Good luck!

8 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.