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When should I start standardized testing? When should I take the SAT or ACT for the first time?

As you are planning your high school career, the question will arise: when should I start worrying about college, and the SAT/ACT/PSAT? The answer is that it is never too early. Where and when I grew up, perhaps due to a lack of other standardized tests, the SAT was used to assess eligibility for gifted and talented programs, and general academic ability, upon entry to junior high. I took my first SAT in the 6th grade. My score got me into a fast-track math program, and I took it every year after that till college. The score I got the next year got me into a gifted and talented language arts program. By my junior year, I was scoring a perfect on the math and in the 700's on the verbal. I didn't take the SAT in my senior year of high school, because I was already in college. We'll get to that part of the story. This was in the time before the essay portion of the test, which has added to testing costs considerably. It might not be a reasonable expense... read more

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