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ACTPreparing for CollegeSATSAT IISAT vs. ACTTest Prep

ACT/SAT Season Is Here. Are You Ready?

By January 14, 2015 No Comments

test prep

Standardized test season is in full swing for juniors, with ACTs and SATs popping up just about every month for the rest of the school year. There’s a lot of planning and preparation that goes into taking these tests and it’s important for families and students to consider how they’re going to approach the process.

Start Early
Students should be preparing for standardized tests 3-6 months before the exam they plan to take. This means that students need to put together a timeline that includes which test date/s they’d like to shoot for and when prep should begin. Leaving these kinds of decisions to the last minute can lead to students being ill-prepared for a test or left with limited options when it comes to available test dates.

Choose either ACT or SAT
Because colleges don’t prefer one over the other, it falls to the student to decide if s/he will take the ACT or the SAT. The easiest way to choose between the two is to take a practice test of each and compare the experiences. Depending on the student’s performance and his or her preference, it may become obvious which test the student should choose.

To help with the decision, check out our previous posts to see how the ACT and SAT compare on structure and content and what that means for students.

ACT vs SAT: What does Preparation Look Like?

ACT vs SAT

Standardized Tests: ACT vs SAT

Prepare
Get a tutor, take a class, or buy books and study. There are a number of ways students can prepare for standardized tests but they need to choose a method and commit to it. It takes months to properly prepare for a test and it’s essential that students follow through with it. Students don’t want to get stuck with a low score on an official test (that they may be required to report to colleges) just because they failed to prepare or take any practice tests first.

Take regular practice tests
Taking practice tests is one of the most valuable things we have our test prep students do. Not only do students build up the stamina to take a 4 hour test, but they also become more comfortable with the structure and the content. Taking multiple practice tests also builds students’ confidence because they know, on test day, that there won’t be any surprises.

Retake
Students often take the ACT/SAT more than once in hopes of improving their score. It’s important to remember that if students wish to see significant improvement on their next test, they need to continue taking practice tests and going over material. The only way students will improve is if they continue to work in between tests.

ACT/SAT scores are an important piece of the college application puzzle. They dictate the range of schools that a student is likely get in to and can qualify students for scholarships and financial aid. It comes as no surprise that students can greatly benefit from doing the best they can on the ACT/SAT. With a little planning and some hard work, students can reach that goal.