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Articles / Applying to College / SAT's Now for Community College-Bound Student or at Transfer Time?

Dec. 4, 2009

SAT's Now for Community College-Bound Student or at Transfer Time?

Question: I already decided that I'm going to community college for two years first and then will go to a state college. Is it best that I take my SAT's now, as a high school senior, even though I won't be needing them, or should I wait until I'm about to enter state college?

This probably isn't the answer that you'd hope to get, but my advice is that you may want to do BOTH.


I suggest that you take the SAT's twice ... once now and then again when you're ready to apply to a four-year school. Why? Well, you may be better prepared to take this sort of test while you're still in high school and the math material that is included on the SAT is freshest for you. (This, of course, will depend on the classes you plan to take next year and the following.)

You also may be more accustomed to multiple-choice test-taking now than you will in a couple years. In addition, if you don't do well on the SAT this time around, you will at least get some indication of your weak spots, and you can pick classes next year and the following one to improve in those areas, if you so choose.

Of course, if you take the SAT while still in high school, and you're happy with your results, then you won't have to re-test in two years. :) The scores are considered valid for five.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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