Very few people are inherently good at taking tests. For the most part, it’s a learned skill. And just like anything new, to learn to perform better, you need practice!
Here are our 4 Tips to help you prepare for your coming ACT/SAT.
Tip #1: Register early and create a schedule.
To make sure you get the ACT/SAT test date and testing center you want, register early, ideally 3 months before the exam. Both ACT and SAT provide test registration dates nearly one year in advance, so make sure you check regularly!
Then, create a reasonable study schedule for the next few months or weeks leading up to your test – and be realistic. By this point in time, you know how busy you are during times in the school year with class, student organizations and extracurricular activities. Don’t assume you’ll study 2 hours a day every day, when in all likelihood it may be 20-30 minutes a day only four days a week (which, by the way, is actually what is recommended!)
Tip #2: Find a study strategy that works for you.
There are dozens of test prep books, websites, practice tests, and in-person courses you can take to help you get the best possible outcome. But, they may not all be right for you and your study style. Here are a few for you to read through, investigate, and learn about to get started:
- ACT.org Test Prep
- College Board SAT Test Prep
- ACT Kaplan Test Prep
- SAT Kaplan Test Prep
- Princeton Review ACT and SAT Test Prep
- Magoosh ACT & SAT Test Prep
- PrepFactory Free SAT & ACT Test Prep
Tip #3: Prep a bag and rest!
Don’t hold yourself up in your room cramming with test prep books the night before. You are being tested on knowledge that you have accumulated over your time in high school and the past few weeks of studying.
First, pack your bag with all of the items you need to take with you (See ACT & SAT “What to Bring With You” Requirements). Also, don’t forget to pack snacks or change for the vending machine – the tests are long so you may need fuel during the breaks!
Lastly, de-stress by hanging with a friend, watching a movie, or binging your favorite Netflix show….then get a good night’s sleep.
Tip #4: DON’T WORRY. You can take it again. And in some cases, you may not need it at all!
This test is not the end-all, be-all. Naturally, with high test scores you may qualify for scholarships (like Premier Scholarships at Transy) that you may not otherwise be eligible – but your future is not defined by a number.
- You can take the test as many times to reach your desired score
- If test-taking just isn’t your thing, many institutions like Transy offer test-optional admission., an option allowing you to submit other items, such as a graded paper, in place of a standardized test to count toward admission and scholarship.