All Ohio juniors will take the ACT or SAT in February or March 2018; most likely it will be the ACT since approximately 95% of Ohio schools chose the ACT over the SAT in 2017. LEAP has found schools are fairly evenly split between the February 27th and March 20th tests – ask your high school for your date! For some students, this should be their first crack at the tests; however, for many this should be their second, third or final attempt in order to maximize testing which frees to student to focus fully on college applications in the fall of 2018.

Because 57% of students nationally increase their scores on a second attempt and 83.4% of LEAP’s students do so, every college bound student should plan to test at least twice. Who should consider the state ACT being their second attempt?

Completion of algebra 2 drives the timeline of testing as it is the highest level of math tested on both the ACT and SAT.  For students accelerated in math since junior high, they will likely have completed algebra 2 at the close of their sophomore year. Additionally, many schools with block scheduling will have juniors taking algebra 2, but completing the course in December. LEAP recommends both groups should take an ACT prior to their state test.

For the typical student, they will test twice; some maybe three or four times. By testing in December then February/March, the student may likely have the goal scores needed for college entrance and scholarships. He or she can be finished testing before AP exams, high school semester exams and summer when preparation for applications begins. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?!

The December test is Saturday, December 9th with a registration deadline of November 3rd and scores returned starting December 19th. You may just want to consider adding the optional writing portion of the test that day as well, since it won’t be an option on the state test. If you are taking the writing portion, we have free tips here!

LEAP recommends you don’t dive in unprepared, but instead take a Cincinnati LEAP strategies course (Columbus options or National) or individual tutoring;  we are already scheduling both for December testing.

Taking algebra 2 and not finished until the end of 11th grade? Make the state test your first attempt with your second attempt in June. This still keeps the possibility of clearing the testing plate before working on college applications.