CollegePlannerPro Blog

Advising Students on the Optimal Testing Timeline

Posted by Lisa Davis on May 25, 2018
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The CollegePlannerPro team was recently joined by ArborBridge's Senior Director of Instruction, Dr. Megan Stubbendeck, for a webinar focused on advising students on the optimal testing timeline. A 10-year test prep veteran, it is Megan's job to know everything there is to know about the college admission tests, including which tests students should take and when. She was gracious enough to share her insights with our members and we've provided a quick recap and link to the full webinar recording below. 

View a Recording of the Full Webinar Here

General Timeline Tips 

Plan on 3, Hope for 2: The ArborBridge team always advises that a student take the test of their choosing at least twice. This is because students are statistically shown to do better the second time taking an official exam. Also, many schools will "super-score" multiple exam scores, resulting in a higher overall total score. The 3rd test buffer allows for unforeseen issues that may arise come testing day (student illness, test cancellation, proctoring irregularity, etc). Having a potential 3rd test date on the timeline will ensure that students have plenty of time to reach their best score. 

Select a Preparation Plan: Whether a student chooses to self-prep with free or purchased apps, websites, and books, or pays for a class or a private tutor, it is important to establish the plan with the family early on. Once decided, the student can then put their preparation plan in place based on the established timeline and scheduled exams. 

The Standard Student Timeline 

The standard student is your average student who follows the most traditional testing timeline. 

Standard Student

The Early Student Timeline

The early student is the student or family who comes to you very early on, maybe sophomore year, freshman year, or even in 8th grade saying that they'd like to get started as soon as possible with preparation and testing. This is the earliest timeline that ArborBridge would recommend for a family. 

Early Student

Still not early enough for families? Advise your students to read... A lot! Reading non-fiction articles and argumentative op-eds are a great way for students to expose themselves to content they will see in both their high school classes and on the exams.

The Late Student Timeline

If a student has procrastinated or put off the testing process until late in their junior year, then they will fall on the late student path. Although the student should still plan to take the exam 3 times, it is important to advise that this might mean the 3rd test date is scheduled after early decision deadlines. 

Late Student

The Subject Test Student Timeline

Finally, the last type of student is one that will plan to take both Subject Tests and AP exams. 

Subject Test Student

Check out the full webinar for more information on timelines adjusted for students with accommodations on the exams. 

Topics: Member Resources, Test Prep