Generally you are better off waiting to take the SAT until you’ve done enough test preparation to do the absolutely best you can. That’s because by the time junior or senior year rolls around, it can be tough to change your GPA by much, but even a little prep can make a big difference in test scores.

This year, however, many schools are asking students applying for early decision or early action to take the October or November test. That’s because SAT results have been coming out more slowly since the test changed, and later test dates are not likely to have scores available in time for ED or EA.

If you are thinking of applying ED or EA, now is a great time to check with the school about the latest SAT test date. And to get on some test prep before school hits full gear. You don’t want to find out that you don’t have time left to prepare.