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When is the Right Time to Start Test Prep?

You may be wondering about the best time to start standardized test prep for your child. Right now or the sooner the better could stand out as the best answers. However, several factors go into choosing the right starting time. It’s not only about getting it over with (however tempting that may be). We’ve outlined a few tracks below to help you gauge where your child stands.

Late Sophomore Start  

Some students are on an accelerated track at school. They may be taking several AP or honors classes as well as advanced math classes (i.e. finished with Algebra II and on to Pre-Calculus). This type of student may have the maturity to succeed as she takes on challenging academic responsibilities at a relatively young age. An earlier start may be appropriate for a student such as this. She could start test prep towards the middle or end of her sophomore year. This will put her on track to take the first official test the fall of Junior year. If she puts in the time and work, she will conclude the entire testing process by the end of Junior year.

Early Junior Start  

Other students have more of a balanced course load. They may take some standard level classes and one or two honors or AP courses. It may be better to wait a little longer for this type of student as she may not yet have finished Algebra II and could lack some maturity. The beginning of Junior year could be the best time to start test prep. From there, she could take the test in late winter or early spring. She will hopefully finish the whole process by the beginning of Senior year.

Late Junior Start  

Still other students may want to wait a little longer to get onto solid ground with their course work and academic life. They are probably taking mostly standard level classes and will not encounter the requisite math classes until Junior year. It may take them another year to be mature enough to handle the pressures and responsibilities of a test prep program. These students should start test prep during the winter of Junior year. They can take the official test towards the summer and conclude the process fall of Senior year.

The Takeaway

Starting as soon as possible isn’t always your best bet. You have to consider the maturity of your child. Is she ready to handle this commitment as a sophomore, both emotionally and academically? If the answer is no, don’t waste your money on sessions that will not get through to her. Neither you nor your child needs the added stress of test prep before the time is right.  

For guidance on starting the test prep journey, contact us today!