How to Plan Your Studying: SAT and ACT Test Prep Calendar

plan for test prep

How to Plan Your Studying: SAT and ACT Test Prep Calendar

Published September 1, 2019 | Last Updated April 15th, 2023 at 04:58 pm

plan for test prep

A good study plan is crucial for passing the SAT or ACT.

To plan well, it’s good to know the SAT and ACT test dates. And of course, a number of other factors  – and study materials – go into creating your perfect SAT/ACT prep calendar.

SAT Test Dates and ACT Test Dates

One positive change regarding the tests is that the test dates are not as spread out as they used to be.

With that in mind, there are still some months with no SAT test dates, so you still need to think very carefully about when you take the test.

The same is true for the ACT. Like the SAT, the ACT is only offered on very specific days and it is not available every month.

Another thing the ACT has in common with the SAT is that it’s administered only on Saturdays, with calendar dates for the test that vary from year-to-year.

And if that’s not enough, one more thing to be mindful of is the registration deadlines for the exams you’ll take.

You can’t just register for the SAT or ACT the day before you’ll take your test. Missed registration dates are another common reason that students aren’t able to test on their ideal day and make their perfect study plan.

Fortunately, there are ways to keep track of all of the relevant dates for taking the SAT and ACT at the right time.

There’s a great online resource for SAT and ACT test dates, complete with upcoming test dates, registration dates, and dates that scores are released. 

Here are the remaining SAT dates in 2023 and the test dates in 2024:

SAT Test DateRegistration DeadlineLate Registration DeadlineSAT Scores Release Date
May 6, 2023April 8, 2023April 22, 2023May 19, 2023
June 3, 2023May 6, 2023May 20, 2023June 16, 2023
August 26, 2023July 28, 2023August 15, 2023September 18, 2023
October 7, 2023September 8, 2023September 26, 2023October 13, 2023
November 4, 2023October 6, 2023October 24, 2023November 17, 2023
December 2, 2023November 3, 2023November 21, 2023December 15, 2023
March 9, 2024February 23, 2024February 27, 2024March 22, 2024
May 4, 2024April 19, 2024April 23, 2024May 17, 2024
June 1, 2024May 17, 2024May 21, 2024June 21, 2024

*The late registration date is one week earlier if you are registering by mail.

Although the College Board has confirmed SAT test dates for 2023-24, it has yet to confirm SAT registration and score release dates. The SAT registration and score release dates in the chart above are estimates based on Compass Education Group’s analysis of the patterns of previous testing years.

Here are the remaining ACT dates in 2023 and the test dates in 2024:

Here are the anticipated test dates, registration deadlines, and score release dates for 2023 and 2024. The test dates are confirmed by ACT, Inc., the others are our projections based on historical data.

ACT Test DateRegistration Deadline Late Registration Deadline Score Release Date
June 10, 2023May 5, 2023May 19, 2023July 4, 2023
July 15, 2023June 16, 2023June 23, 2023August 8, 2023
September 9, 2023August 4, 2023August 18, 2023September 22 - November 1, 2023
October 28, 2023September 22, 2023October 6, 2023November 10 - December 22, 2023
December 9, 2023November 3, 2023November 10, 2023December 22, 2023 - February 2, 2024
February 10, 2024January 5, 2024January 19, 2024February 23 - April 6, 2024
April 13, 2024March 8, 2024March 22, 2024April 26 - June 8, 2024
June 8, 2024May 3, 2024May 17, 2024June 21 - August 2, 2024
July 13, 2024**June 7, 2024June 14, 2024July 26 - August 26, 2024

**Test date excludes New York and international locations.

Making Your SAT/ACT Prep Calendar

Of course, there’s more to setting the right test date than just knowing the days of registry, testing, and score reporting. You also need to figure out exactly how much time you need to prepare for the test.

The study plans that students put together vary in length and depend at least partly on an individual student’s learning needs and time constraints.

That being said, a typical high school student can usually become fully prepared for the SAT or ACT in about a month. On average, SAT and ACT preppers will need around 6-12 hours of study time per week.

This study can be done on as little as three days a week, or it can be stretched across every weekday. Some students even do their one-month test prep plan by studying one or two hours a day, five to seven days a week.

The key to a good study plan is practice, practice, practice.

So the trick is to find enough prep materials for a month’s worth of mock exams and other practice exercises.

Official SAT practice from the College Board and similar official ACT preparation are a must-have.

There are other good third-party materials as well. Gleaning tips from an ACT test-prep expert in addition to taking suggestions from an SAT test prep-master couldn’t hurt. 

Again, the internet is your friend as you try to figure out your study schedule timelines, weekly activities, and materials.

Here’s a good page to see what a typical one-month SAT study schedule looks like. And here’s a good example of a one-month ACT study schedule.

 

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