At High Performance Tutoring, we recommend that students begin preparing for college admissions during their junior year of high school. Nearly all colleges and universities in the United States require you to take the SAT or ACT. A high score on either test will greatly increase your chances of being accepted.
Reaching the score you want will require a great deal of preparation. Here is what we suggest you do.
- Find The Right Test. Many schools accept both the SAT and ACT, so take the one in which you are likely to score the highest. The ACT measures how much you have learned in school, whereas the SAT measures your general reasoning ability and problem solving skills. Free practice tests are available online. Take a few of each type and determine the test on which you perform better. Your guidance counselor may also be helpful in this process. [ 1 ] [ 2 ]
- Choose Your Test Dates. The SAT and ACT are offered on specific dates throughout the year. We suggest you take it once in the spring of your junior year, and again that summer or the fall of your senior year. Take note of the dates the test is offered and the registration deadlines.
- Study Guides & Practice Tests. Find a good practice book to read through that has a structured study plan, explains concepts thoroughly, has worked out examples, and practice tests with solutions. We generally recommend materials by Kaplan and Princeton Review. The College Board offers past SAT exams to practice from. The ACT offers practice tests through its website as well. [ 4 ] [ 5 ]
- Tutoring & Prep Classes. Find a tutor who specializes in the ACT and SAT. We recommend at least 40 hours one-on-one time with your tutor or participating in a prep class. This will help structure your studying and provide far more insight than you could pick up from simply reading a book. Make sure to plan these 40 hours to span over a month or two and end of the day of the test. [ 3 ]
- Test Day! Make sure that you get plenty of rest and healthy during the week before the test. The night before, get all of your things together such as your calculator, extra batteries test ticket, #2 pencils, extra lead, and snacks. On the morning of the test, be sure to relax, eat a healthy breakfast, and drink plenty of water. [ 6 ] [ 7 ]
At High Performance Tutoring, we have several tutors who specialize in ACT and SAT preparation. We currently offer one-on-one tutoring for both tests and are in the process of developing a preparatory course for small groups. Register today and try our ACT/SAT tutoring services for FREE!
[ 1 ] Frequently Asked Questions. (2013) Retrieved from: http://www.actstudent.org/faq/actsat.html
[ 2 ] ACT vs. SAT. (2007) Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/education/edlife/guidance.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
[ 3 ] How Do I Get Ready for Test Day? (2013) Retrieved from: http://www.actstudent.org/faq/testday.html
[ 4 ] SAT Practice Tests. (2013) Retrieved from: http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-practice-test
[ 5 ] ACT Practice Tests. (2013) Retrieved from: http://www.actstudent.org/onlineprep/tour/practice.html
[ 6 ] Permitted Calculators for the SAT. (2013) Retrieved from: http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/calculator-policy
[ 7 ] Permitted Calculators for the ACT. (2013) Retrieved from: http://www.actstudent.org/faq/calculator.html