Students are encouraged to begin visiting colleges early in their high school years, using vacation periods and family trips as good opportunities. By the beginning of the junior year, students should be giving serious thought to college selection and should be planning college visitations for spring break and for the summer before the senior year. College visits are absolutely critical to the success of the student’s college search and are, without question, one of the most important components of the college admission process.
All underclassmen are required to take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) in October. This score is also used as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) when taken in the junior year. In March of the junior year, all students are required to take the College Board SAT. In May, juniors are also required to take the SAT or the SAT Subject Tests. Seniors are required to take the SAT again in October, and Darlington recommends that they take the November or December test as well, if needed.
All Darlington Upper School students have access to free online SAT test prep through Naviance.
Some seniors and juniors choose to take the American College Test (ACT), which is preferred by many colleges and universities in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the Midwest and West.