Recommended Testing Timeline

Standardized test scores impact college admissions decisions in myriad ways. Factors that influence the significance of standardized test scores include the student’s individual academic record, strength of curriculum, and the specific college program or major to which the student applies. Each college or university’s goals for crafting its ninth grade class can also determine the significance of standardized testing within the college admission process. At the same time, some 900+ colleges are now  “test-optional,” meaning they do not require standardized testing as a part of their admissions review (the list of colleges is available at

In this context, the Governor’s College Counseling Office (CCO) offers the suggested standardized testing timeline below. With this broad scheduling framework, college counselors at Governor’s work with each student to determine an appropriate, individualized standardized testing plan.

Sophomore Year
All sophomores take the PSAT as a class in the fall. Most sophomores will not need to take additional standardized testing in their 10th grade year. Some Division I level athletic recruits may take one SAT or one ACT in the spring of their sophomore year if so advised by collegiate coaches. Those test dates are listed below.

October: PSAT

April: ACT (if advised by assigned college counselor)

May: SAT (if advised by assigned college counselor)

June: SAT subject tests (when applicable for honors or AP courses, in consultation with the student’s College Counselor and teacher)

June: ACT (if advised by assigned college counselor)

Junior Year
The following is a list of dates when both the SAT and ACT are administered nationally. Juniors will choose from among these dates in consultation with their college counselor. In general, the CCO recommends one benchmark SAT and one benchmark ACT in the junior year.  

October: PSAT (All juniors will sit for this test. Juniors are eligible for National Merit Scholarship Consideration)

Diagnostic SAT and ACT exams (administered in partnership with ArborBridge Test Prep Associates). Juniors take the ACT diagnostic exam in November, and the SAT diagnostic exam in January.

February: ACT

March: SAT

April: ACT

May: SAT

June: SAT or SAT subject tests (when applicable for honors and AP courses, in consultation with the student’s college counselor and teacher)

June: ACT

July: ACT

Senior Year
In consultation with their college counselor, seniors typically take one to two SAT exams, OR one to two ACT exams. Both the SAT and ACT exams will be administered nationally in the following months:

August: SAT

September: ACT

October: SAT, ACT

November: SAT

December: SAT, ACT

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