Get your head in the game at Applerouth's FREE PSAT Prep Rally events! Learn more.

Planning to Apply Early? Summer Tests Might Be Your Best Bet

Ah, summer. Time for pool parties, barbecues, napping in hammocks…and slathering aloe on the sunburn you got from all the pool partying and hammock-napping. School’s out, and the last thing many students want to think about is more studying. However, if your rising senior plans to take advantage of the early admissions ticket, summer tests can be a fantastic opportunity to improve scores.

Why Apply Early?

As a rule, strong students who hope to attend flagship schools have a better chance of getting in when they apply early. The University of Pennsylvania is a good example of this phenomenon. Overall, Penn admitted a record-low 7.44% of applicants for the class of 2023. However, the school admitted 17.99% of early applicants, versus just 5.46% of students who applied during the regular admissions period.

There are a lot of factors at play here that complicate the issue. Grades, finances, test scores – a lot goes into a student’s application and college search decision. That being said, the disparity between early and regular admissions rates is striking, particularly at the Ivies. Colleges like early admissions; it allows them to better predict their yield rate and manage enrollment. While early admissions rates are declining as more students take advantage of the early advantage, so to speak, the odds are still much better for students who do apply early.

Testing Timelines and Early Admissions

Families who aren’t as familiar with the early admissions landscape may be surprised to hear just how early the deadlines can be. The earliest of the early admissions deadlines comes from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Aspiring Tar Heels should have their applications completely submitted by October 15th for early action. Most schools don’t have deadlines quite as early as that, but they tend to fall in the November-December period.

Students who want to improve their SAT or ACT scores before applying to schools need to be aware that they don’t have very many possible test dates left to take them, especially if they’re trying to make an October deadline like UNC’s work for them. They can take the August SAT, or the July or September ACT, and that’s it! Students whose deadlines are in early November can add the October SAT to that list. Because early admissions has become such a staple in our college admissions reality, it’s a good idea to seriously consider the late-summer and early-fall tests, especially for rising seniors who want to improve their scores to better their chances. This shifting timeline has a side benefit of taking one more thing off of a student’s plate during the meat of senior year.

Another reason to think about these July, August, or September test dates? Rolling admissions. Schools like the University of Alabama, Penn State, and Texas A&M all operate under a rolling admissions plan, which means that the school makes an admissions decision as soon as the application file is completed. There’s no hard-and-fast deadline.

Admissions is no longer a “one size fits all” process. For some students, summer testing could fit nicely into the best admissions plan for them. If you’re looking to prep for one of these tests – or any of the tests that come afterwards – take a look at our Summer Promo offerings here.


Applerouth is a trusted test prep and tutoring resource. We combine the science of learning with a thoughtful, student-focused approach to help our clients succeed. Call or email us today at 866-789-PREP (7737) or info@applerouth.com.