For the first time since the 1970’s, College Board will be offering a summer administration of the SAT. The inaugural summer exam is scheduled for August 26, 2017 and will recur annually. The January SAT date, often cited as an unpopular option, will be phased out after its final appearance in 2017.
The announcement of the August SAT test date yielded much fanfare among students, school counselors, and test prep professionals. Supporters of the new date note that busy students will be able to utilize the summer after 11th grade – a time free of school obligations – for intensive preparation. In years past, the delay between the culmination of summer tutoring and official test dates would diminish the efficacy of prep. For instance, students who took the October SAT, but failed to review the material for months, were likely to see deflated results. Why? Their fluency with the test had deteriorated without regular practice.
Additionally, the August SAT date is being lauded for the cushion of time it will give students who plan to apply to colleges early decision or early action. Students who sit for the August exam will receive their test results far in advance of early application deadlines. In fact, should these students find themselves dissatisfied with their August scores, they will have a second and third opportunity (October and November) to retake the exam ‘on record’ in the fall. In light of the recent spate of SAT and ACT scoring debacles, the implementation of a summer offering will be a welcome insurance policy for students concerned about application deadlines.