Test Prep Tips for Students taking the SAT and ACT

 In College Preparation

How many times have you been told that proper preparation prevents poor performance? Well, what’s one more time for good luck? While the process may not always be fun, it’s certainly necessary. In order to do your best on any exam, let alone the SAT or ACT, it’s important to spend time preparing.

Because these standardized test scores play an important role in the college admissions process, you’ll want to put in the effort. The best way to stay on task is to devise a study plan, but it is up to you to stick to it. With so many free test prep resources at your fingertips, it’s almost silly not to take advantage of them. While studying helps you build the skills you need for the exam, it will also give you an idea of what the test will be like. Remember, you can always take both practice tests to assess your strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you to focus on the areas you’ll need to improve before test day. So, what’s the best way to study? Here are six helpful tips to consider:

1.     Get Familiar

Understanding the format, instructions and the type of questions on the exam will help save some time on test day. Knowing what to expect is also key to creating a more effective study plan. Not sure whether you should take the SAT or ACT? Refer to our previous blog to find out which exam is right for you.

2. Practice Makes Perfect

If you practice something long enough, your chances of acquiring that skill is much greater. Set aside time to take real, full-length practice tests. Not only can this help decrease your anxiety, but it can help you find your groove when it comes to time and pacing as well. Additionally, taking practice tests will allow you see what kind of questions you will be asked, and review and revise as needed.

3. Set Realistic Goals

Don’t try to cram everything in at once. Separate your study time into sections, focusing on a certain area at a time. Furthermore, if you struggle with studying on your own, consult with your school counselors for any after-school programs or study groups that may help.

4. Talk Less. Read More

There are countless books based on actual exams from past years that can help you get ahead of the study game.

5. Memory Matters

While the SAT exam provides some of the math formulas for you, the ACT does not, so it’s important that you learn all basic math formulas, critical definitions, and concepts beforehand.

6. Expand Your Vocabulary

Reading challenging books and articles can help when it comes to understanding the wording of each question. Vocabulary plays a big role, so don’t let unfamiliar words or secondary meanings throw you off your game.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” If you give yourself time and adhere to some of these tips, you’ll find yourself studying with more focus

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