By Teresa, Director of Education & Megan, Director of Instruction
After an eventful school year, summer is quickly approaching! As the weather gets nicer and we’re all able to get out and about a bit more, it’s important to make sure that you’re still keeping up with your SAT/ACT prep. This summer especially presents an opportunity to really focus on the ACT or SAT and to create structure and normalcy in these uncertain times. Below, we have some general recommendations that can help you stay engaged in test prep this summer:
Tip 1: Read!
Reading comprehension is by far the most tested skill on the ACT and the SAT. In addition to the reading sections on both tests, reading comprehension is rolled into the math section, the science section, and, of course, the English and writing sections. The more reading that students can expose themselves to, the better prepared they will be when it comes time for the exams. Ideally students will be reading ACT level texts (articles from National Geographic, The Atlantic, and other peer-reviewed sources are good bets), but spending quality time reading and digesting texts matters more than what exactly is being read!
Tip 2: Setting up a schedule
We realize that your typical academic routines have probably been thrown into disarray in recent months, which makes it even more crucial to dedicate time to studying this summer. It is important to explicitly and thoughtfully plan out when test prep will happen, especially as the school year comes to an end. One strategy that might help with consistency is to translate aspects of your school schedule into your test prep study routine; for instance, if the video call for your English class was set for a particular time each week, you could turn that into your dedicated ACT English study time. However, be careful not to burn yourself out! A few regularly scheduled hours of studying a week is all you need, and you should still leave plenty of time to get outside and take advantage of your summer.
Tip 3: Practice, practice practice!
Solving plenty of practice problems and taking full-length practice tests are some of the best ways to feel truly prepared for any standardized test. Taking full-length practice tests allows students to practice the “non-academic” skills like time management and stamina needed for peak test performance. It also gives students a feel for the test (How early should they wake up? What should they eat for breakfast? What should they bring for a snack?). In addition, full-length practice tests give students an idea of how their score is progressing. Reviewing missed questions is one of the most important and beneficial prep activities. You can even sign up to go over practice tests with one of our tutors! All you have to do is:
- Visit www.galined.com/events
- Select the date of your practice / diagnostic test
- Click “click here to register” and you’ll be redirected to a signup page
We recommend students take full-length, timed practice tests every 2-3 weeks over the summer.
Tip 4: Utilize online resources
In addition to following us on Facebook (where we often post videos with practice questions), there are other online platforms where you can keep your practice going. We recommend using sites such as Khan Academy and ACT Academy for when you need help understanding an unfamiliar topic.
We know this has been an unusual school year for everyone (to say the least!), but standardized tests will continue to be an important component of successful college applications. Take advantage of this time to keep up with your test prep and present your best self to potential colleges. Your future self will thank you!