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Prepping for the ACT or SAT? How to Get a Comprehensive Understanding

Prepping for the ACT or SAT? How to Get a Comprehensive Understanding
Posted By: Anita Ginsburg on July 19, 2022

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Test (ACT) are as much a part of high school rites of passage as the prom and the graduation ceremony, particularly among college-bound students. These standardized tests predict your ability to handle the rigors of higher academia. SAT and ACT question you on math, reading comprehension, logic, and reasoning. In the ACT, you'll see science questions.

Colleges consider other factors in admissions decisions, but you should not ignore being prepared for the SAT or ACT. Below, we offer four avenues to equip you for your best efforts at these exams.

Read and Watch
Numerous books and online videos explain how these tests operate, what they test, how they score, and how colleges use them. Use these resources to familiarize yourself with the basics of the tests before you practice.

View online tutorials before and after your practices. If you want to avoid costs, your high school guidance counselor or library likely has books on the ACT and SAT.

Practice
Practicing breeds familiarity with the ACT and SAT tests. This doesn't mean indiscriminately pulling online practice tests and just answering questions. Your sessions should build familiarity with both the content and the time constraints.

At the outset, consider a dry-run practice. The PSAT and Pre-ACT mimic the types of questions and the time you have. From the experience and results, you will see your strengths and areas of improvement or need.

Afterward, focus your practices less on timing and more on mastering the substance. Here, take untimed tests.



You may even limit questions to specific sections of the test. As you get closer to test day, time yourself. Go to CollegeBoard.com and ACTStudent.org to find practice tests.

Find a High School Test Prep Program
High school SAT and ACT prep programs may start with an initial timed or proctored (supervised) test. Some companies, such as The Enrichery, know that this affords instant and valuable feedback for students as they participate in the training from these programs.

Test prep programs provide:

Instructional sessions followed by "homework" assignments
Individual coaching and tutoring
Review of math, vocabulary, reading comprehension, grammar, and other subjects on tests

Preparation programs can run multiple weeks, even months. You can choose from online or in-person.

Talk to Your Teachers
Teachers bring great insights into the subjects that the ACT and SAT tests. Ask them to compare their curriculum and materials to sample test questions or descriptions of the tests. You may discover that the exams explore territory not covered in your classroom and other resources to aid your study and preparation.

From your teachers come strategies in taking tests that serve you with the ACT and SAT tests. For instance, learn from your teachers the art of eliminating obviously incorrect answers, avoiding unnecessary second-guessing, and identifying the concept involved in the question.

Don't cram for or fear the ACT or SAT tests. Take time to prepare yourself with ample resources to teach you how to comprehend and take these tests.
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