Late Standardized Testing Tips

By the time December arrives, most high school seniors are ready to find out the results of their Early Decision applications. They have put in their hard work, paid attention to their term/semester 1 marks, and are now just coasting until D-Day, somewhere around December 15th .

However, there still exist a small percentage of students who, for whatever reason, were late to this party. These are the students who are still planning to write standardized tests in December (and/or January), whether as a final effort “just in case”, because they are somewhat sadistic, or because they just want to give College Board or ACT their money. For these students, it can seem like this process is never-ending. While others are rejoicing in their newly discovered freedom, these students are still practicing their Humanities passage strategies or reminding themselves how to add and subtract without a calculator.

If you fall into this latter category, here are some good guidelines to follow:

  1. Stay focused. The cheesiest and yet most appropriate phrase in the entire college admissions process is “you get out of it what you put into it”. If you’re putting in the effort, you will see results. Sorry, but it’s true.
  2. Double check your program requirements. If you are planning to write the SAT or any subject tests required for your program in January, make sure the school or program you’re applying to accepts that test date.
  3. Check if you can send screenshots for late tests. Many schools will allow you to send a screenshot of your score as soon as it comes in off the ACT or SAT website, before they even get the official results.
  4. Stay in communication with your school(s). People aren’t mind readers, so it’s best to send a quick email to let them know what’s going on with late testing (and anything else relevant). That said, don’t overwhelm the inboxes of admissions officers either. Only communicate what is relevant and important.
  5. See the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t give up because other people are celebrating or relaxing now. Chances are, you were relaxing during a time when these other people were studying hard. You are almost at the end!