Preparing for the SAT/ACT
It’s Not as Bad as You Think
Standardized tests can be scary and all the hype about test scores doesn’t help.
SAT and ACT test scores are important. But they’re not nearly as important as manyStudents think. Colleges use test scores differently, but no college makes admission
Decisions based solely on them. In fact, your academic record (the courses you’ve taken and the
grades you’ve received) is looked at much more closely than your test scores.
A Proven Way to Boost Your Score
There’s no way to get around it – the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT are to study
hard and read as much as you can.
A great way to improve your score is by reading. But, the only way you’re going to get anything
out of reading is to choose books, magazines, and newspapers that you enjoy – everything from
Harry Potter to the New York Times can strengthen your reading comprehension and vocabulary.
Practicing writing is also important in your preparation. Whether you’re writing a research paper
for history or working on your own short stores, it’s a great way to get ready for these tests.
Test-taking skills can be learned through practice. Try a few of these strategies to improve yourperformance on standardized tests.
- Take the practice test in the materials you receive from the SAT or ACT. Find practice tests online or in books (check your Guidance office or library).
- After taking a practice test, look carefully at the questions you get wrong.
- Read the explanations of the right answers.
- If you find that certain types of questions or certain topics stump you, get some help from a teacher in those areas. For example, a math teacher can recommend a good book to review the basics of geometry or algebra.
- Learn from every test you take. Take the opportunity to see the answers for the questions you got wrong, if the testing service offers this. Don’t
- just study the answers themselves – look at the reasoning behind each answer. Then, if you decide to take the test again, you’ll be better prepared.