I have an article that spells out the nine keys to a successful junior year.  If you have a junior, you might enjoy it!

But if your highly gifted student is facing junior year, advanced in math, and you're almost certain they might qualify for the  National Merit Scholarship, then I think my advice on testing would be a little more specific.

Please ONLY read this advice if you already feel like your child is a strong candidate for the National Merit Scholarship because they consistently score in the 98th percentile or higher on standardized tests.  The advice I'm giving here requires a lot of testing, and too much testing for a regular student can cause burn-out and frustration, and may even cause worse test scores in the long run as their frustration builds.  But when your child is ahead on math, there are certain timing issues about those tests that can affect success.

Register for the PSAT in September.  From the beginning of school until October, study for the PSAT using a book designed for the PSAT so the math problems are at the simpler level seen on the PSAT

Once the PSAT is behind you, begin to study for the SAT, using a book designed for the SAT so the math is at the level of that test.  Take the SAT in January or March.

Once the SAT is behind you, then begin to study for the ACT, using a prep book designed for that test.  Take the ACT in April or May.

That strategy will allow you enough time to re-take the SAT or ACT while still a junior.  If you aren't happy with your scores, you'll still have time to take a replacement SAT or ACT test in June :-)

For parents in this position, it can significantly increase your chance of scholarship if you work hard on your course descriptions.  You may also want to purchase my book "Setting the Records Straight."

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