The SAT and the ACT are very important tests as colleges put a lot of weight on the scores students receive. For many students, scoring well on these assessments is integral to being admitted to their dream colleges. So naturally, everyone wants to do well! Here are some tips that can help you perform as well as possible on the SAT and the ACT.
Starting to prepare for the SAT/ACT early on is key to performing well on these tests. Consistent and long-term practice will ingrain the concepts into your, the student’s, brain and will help you perform splendidly when testing day comes along. Click here to see when and how you should prepare for the exam.
Quality over quantity
There are a lot of SAT/ACT prep websites, classes, and books out there. People tend to think that the best course of action is to read as many of those books as possible and do every practice quiz they can find. This is far from the truth. It is imperative to find quality resources – those with legitimate practice tests, techniques that are proven to work well, and content creators who know what they are talking about. Click here to find some great resources that prioritize quality.
Arguably the most important thing when it comes to preparing for the SAT/ACT is analyzing your mistakes. It’s easy to take practice tests, count how many questions you missed and give yourself a score. It is, however, much more beneficial to actually analyze each mistake. The way to do this is to find the correct answer and read the explanation of the question if one is provided. Then, recall what your thought process was when you answered the question during the practice and figure out what it should have been in order to lead you to the correct answer. Pinpoint where you went wrong and work towards fixing that error in the future.
Taking it one step further
I employed the analysis technique consistently when I was preparing for the SAT* but I still didn’t see the rise in my scores that I wanted to. I noticed that there were some questions that I answered correctly but I didn’t exactly know why. I would just end up guessing right. But, if similar questions showed up on other practice SATs, I would often get them wrong. So, I decided that instead of just analyzing the questions I missed, I would also mark questions throughout the test that I was unsure about and read their explanations and analyze the thought process behind them also. This technique is what really helped my score and could really help you as well!
*I give the example of the SAT because this is the assessment I chose to take, but this technique works exceptionally well for the ACT as well.
The most important thing when it comes to preparing for the SAT/ACT is consistent practice. Consistency is key. For example, I took a full-length practice SAT every Sunday in testing conditions every week for about 6 months before I took the test. I’m not saying that particular practice is necessary, but no matter what, consistent practice is key. At the very least, I would suggest practicing every week and taking at least one full-length SAT/ACT in testing conditions every month.