More students at The Urban School begin early SAT and ACT prep, but how early is too early?

Olive Lopez, Staff Writer

A couple of weeks ago, my parents arrived home from a junior parent college meeting bearing a thick folder stuffed with information about the ACT and SAT.

A few days ago, I placed an order for three practice booklets to prep for a test I’ll take next spring and then again in the fall next year.

Sometime in December, I will receive my PSAT results, and I’ll get a Naviance account to help me research, organize, and apply to college.

Looking forward towards the college application process, specifically the SAT and ACT, it’s hard not to feel like you should start as early as possible. But how early is too early to prep for the SAT or ACT?

Lena Galinson (’16) has been prepping since freshman year.

“I do the question of the day…online,” she said. Galinson added that she is prepping early because “standardized tests are not my strong suit, and also my mom really wants me to do well.”

Natalie Sears (’15) says that she’s been studying “since midsummer” and has had “12 two-hour tutoring sessions” so far.

“With my schedule and playing sports it’s better for me…to get a head start so that I don’t have to prioritize other things over it,” said Sears. She is a three-season varsity athlete, playing varsity volleyball, basketball, and soccer. Beginning her test prep early in the game can be difficult. “Sometimes I don’t wish I did (it) but my parents are looking out for me,” she said.

Others are starting more slowly. “I’m not prepping early because I don’t have time,” said Nikki Kimzey (’15). “I’ll probably start during break since that’s when I’ll have time.” She says her plan is to take a prep course and study on her own.

No matter what, when prepping for the SAT or ACT, it’s important to make sure that you set an individualized plan for studying and stick to it. Prepare in the best way for yourself, not just based on what your classmates are doing.