Students should be building their list of prospective colleges over the summer between junior and senior year. It is not possible to do this with any accuracy if you do not have your SAT or ACT scores when assessing your chance of admission to various colleges.
75% of all four-year colleges still require the SAT or ACT and most consider these scores to be very important or important. When building a college list, most students consider a few reach colleges, mostly good match colleges, and a few safety schools. This is a good plan, but not having realistic SAT/ACT scores when choosing prospective colleges makes this task difficult at best and a waste of time at worst.
Furthermore, It takes on average 2 to 3 months to study for the test. Taking practice exams not only takes time but is tedious. If you are in the 11th grade and have not devised a plan for studying and taking the SAT or ACT, do not delay. Remember, if you are planning to take SAT Subject Tests, you cannot do so on the same day that you take the SAT.
Building a college list that accurately reflects your chances of admission will move you closer to admissions success. Having time to research colleges is part of the process. Having the information needed to accurately access your chances of admission includes standardized test scores results.