In preparation for next semester, Part 1 (sent 12/11/19)

Dear Juniors,

Since most colleges require students to submit a standardized test score as part of the admission application, we recommend students take either the ACT with Writing or the SAT with Essay the spring of junior year. Here is some important test information to keep in mind:

  • Students are responsible for signing up for standardized tests and do so through the official test sites. You will need a College Board account if you decide to take the SAT and an ACT account if you take the ACT.
  • To save time, only answer the required questions when creating these accounts.
  • If a college requires the ACT or SAT, they will accept either one so there is no need to take both. More than 1,000 four-year colleges and universities do not use the ACT or SAT for admission purposes. Click here to learn more about test optional policies.
  • Keep all usernames and passwords handy as you will need to access these accounts multiple times over the next year.
  • Low-income students may be eligible for an ACT or SAT fee waiver, so please see me before you register for an official test if you think you may qualify. 
  • Click here for the complete list of ACT and SAT test dates for 2019-20 and note that registration deadlines are usually a month before the exam date.
  • Consider whether you will take SAT Subject Tests. Click here and scroll down the page for detailed information about these exams, including a link that shows which colleges require, recommend, or consider these tests.
  • As you explore specific colleges, you must learn their admission policies. Even before finalizing a list of target schools, you should familiarize yourself with the range of testing-related policies that vary by college as that will influence your testing strategy and calendar.

If you have not yet decided which exam you prefer, there are two more practice test dates at Drake next semester. This page has all of the information you need regarding these practice exams and please note that these are available to all juniors testing under regular timing. If you have been approved for accommodations and need additional practice testing opportunities, you can contact Compass Education Group in Larkspur or The College Planning Center in Corte Madera as both sites allow for testing with accommodations.

Lastly, a follow-up email (Part 2) will be sent before Winter Break with more testing information as this is a big topic!

Thank you.


Lisa Neumaier

College & Career Specialist

Sir Francis Drake High School

(415) 458-3481 - direct line