Road Map for Summer: Class of 2025

Two years down and two to go! There are two summer priorities I recommend for rising juniors. The first is to start visiting colleges.  Many students wait until the second semester of 11th grade to plan campus tours, but it can become hard to fit them into a busy year.  Instead, take advantage of the summer to see a few different kinds of schools, either close to home or on summer travel you’re already planning. Try to see a variety of big and small schools in different kinds of settings to get a feel for what type of school would be a good fit. The very end of summer is a particularly good time, since college students may be back on campus before you have to go back to school, and you can see the campus on a typical day. Next, find dates in the fall, winter and spring when you can visit additional schools. Look for days that are not holidays but won’t require  you to miss school. (Professional development days and administrative days are great for this.)

The second is more time sensitive: get a testing plan in place. Most students in the Class of ’25 should take a first SAT or ACT—not both—between February and April 2024. Planning now lets you start test prep if you choose, and gives you flexibility if you’d like to adjust your testing schedule. For example, you might want to finish testing early or work around other commitments you have during the school year.

The additional wrinkle this year, of course, is that the SAT will be digital next year. ACT also announced in May that it will be piloting a digital test in December. What does all this mean for you? For most students, nothing changes. The best way to figure out your plan is to take the diagnostic tests (a practice SAT and practice ACT), preferably in the next couple of weeks. Choose the test that’s best for you, and choose your test dates. (Click to see the full list of upcoming SAT and ACT dates.)

A few students, however, may have a preference for testing on paper, while students who choose the SAT and want to test early may have to take the paper version. If you’re in one of those categories, use one of these paper SAT exams instead of the digital version as a diagnostic to make your choice.

For more on standardized testing, watch the recording of my May webinar, This Is Only A Test: Standardized Testing for the Class of 2025, or contact me to make an appointment for individual advising.