For today's mailbag we are answering questions about the college application process as a 9th or 10th grade student. In February we held a free seminar about why your college application process should start now and not later for 9th or 10th graders. At the end of the seminar we fielded questions live from students and parents about the process. Below is the Q&A during this seminar in video and written form. The written form includes additional questions that we received after the live seminar concluded. Enjoy and please ask your own questions in the comment section below.
How early can I take the SAT or ACT? If I take them in 9th or 10th grade, do they count?
You can take the official SAT or ACT at any grade. They will count and the colleges will receive them. If you take either test during middle school scores will not go on your official application unless you request for the score to be saved. Unless you have a specific reason to, there’s no need to take either test in 9th grade. But if you’re really prepared to take it at the end of 10th grade - then go for it! Click Here to understand why your scores may or may not be valid any longer.
When should I study for the SAT/ACT?
Focus on your grades first. Then worry about your test scores. The value of starting your SAT & ACT prep in 9th or 10th grade is that you don't need to rush. Cramming for the test as an 11th or 12th grader will be much less effective than a long term study plan. You can get your own study plan for free here.
If a 10th grader gets a 3.0 in the first quarter and then a 3.7 in the second quarter, is that okay?
GPA stands for grand point average. This means that the colleges are going to look at your average scores throughout the course of the four years. While you obviously want to try to get the highest grades you can, one semester or quarter of poor performance or a lower GPA isn’t necessarily going to make or break your chances of admission. That being said, in 11th and 12th grade, it only gets harder to maintain your high GPA. So if your grades are slipping for any reason in any class, make sure you get the necessary help to correct that right away.
Can I take the test too many times?
We recommend that you don’t take the test more than 3 times. There are other important aspects of your application that you need to focus on, namely your GPA and your essays.
What is covered in the test prep planning sessions that you offer for free?
We’ll do an hour-long one-on-one session where we go over any scores you have now. You’ll be encouraged to take a diagnostic test so we can go over your areas of weakness and come up with a plan of action specific to your particular situation and abilities. Click Here to sign up for a free SAT or ACT Expert Consultation.
What is covered during the summer boot camp?
Our private tutor Suniti is going to teach live classes and do rapid fire practice questions with you. You’ll be able to ask her as many questions as you want. Subjects covered will include Reading, Math and English/Grammar. For more information and to learn more, click here.