In the past, even as few as five years ago, students generally kept their test preparation limited to the school year. But times have changed. More and more students are choosing to begin or continue their test preparation during the summer.
Whether you are a junior or a senior, the main benefit of summer tutoring is clear: the tutoring does not compete for time with schoolwork. In the summer, students are generally more rested and relaxed, and they have more time to complete test prep work because they have little or no other homework. Now, the work that is done during the summer no longer has to be done during the school year, and students have one less thing to worry about during some of the busiest academic times of their lives, junior year and senior fall.
For a junior, the purpose of summer tutoring is to get ahead of the testing process, possibly getting in position to be done with SAT/ACT testing early, in the winter of junior year. Plus, if you start early, you have plenty of time to change your preparation course or take a break without feeling any time pressure. Many juniors also start early because they anticipate not being able to prep during a busy sports season.
For a senior, summer prep for a fall exam may be a good alternative to testing in May, when AP exams occur, or in June, right around finals time. If you’ve taken an SAT/ACT test once and weren’t wholly satisfied with your results, waiting until summer may give you more and better preparation time than cramming another test date into May or June with only one or two very busy months to study.
Many students succeed by prepping only during the school year, and summer prep doesn’t work for everyone; many students and families go away for the summer, for example. But, summer prep can be a good alternative to an overbooked junior year or senior fall.