What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

ACT/SAT Prep

Our Counselors Answered:

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

Jolyn BrandOwner & CEOBrand College Consulting

Study methods depend on each student

There are many ways to prepare for the SAT: Study on your own Take a test prep course (such as Kaplan) Hire a private tutor To study on your own, students need to be organized and disciplined. They will need to fit studying into their schedule on a weekly basis, between classes, sports and friends. Some companies, such as Kaplan, offer test prep courses. While these can be a good overview of the tests, they normally can’t help students with individual weaknesses. Frequently, they are 20+ students in a room taking a practice test or reading tips. Most of these classes are also taught by college students or someone who just happens to have done well on the test himself. Most do not have a teaching background. The last, more helpful method is a tutor. Hiring a private tutor is not much more expensive than the classes and students can get individualized attention to their weaknesses and areas of concern. Hiring a tutor who is also a teacher is the most beneficial since that person has experience working with students.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

self study and personal tutor

the classroom approach for test prep works for some students but not for all of them. personal tutor is the best way to prep if financially possible. self study also works for some of my students becuase they are gifted with the highest discipline.

Bill PrudenHead of Upper School, College CounselorRavenscroft School

Test Prep A Must, But Do What Works for You

There is no one best to prepare for the SATor ACT, but given the reality of the ever competitive application process, it almost imperative that a prospective applicant do something. As to which, it really depends upon a student’s learning style. Some need the formal classroom like approach, while for others a computer program might be the best way to go. Meanwhile, one-on- one tutoring might be best for someone else. The approaches, but if one wants to compete effectively, it is definitely in their best interests to undertake some kind of advance preparation.

Trevor CreedenDirector of College and Career CounselingDelaware County Christian School

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

Start early and read! A lot of students think that the SAT or ACT is a test that they can just study for a week before the test like one of their other classroom tests and it is not. It is a test that takes strategy, clear thinking, critical thinking and test taking skills that need to be learned over time. There are so many ways to prepare out there today. Companies like Princeton Review, Kaplan, Powerscore, Huntington are making big money on prep courses these days. I feel like you can prepare just as well as any of these courses if you are disciplined enough to put in the time. We have a program through Naviance called Method Test Prep that is really well done in it’s structure and preparation. You can even order this program separately. It has audio and video explanations after every question you answer. They recommend that you spend a half hour a day up to 15 weeks before the test you are taking to properly prepare. Now, you may miss a day here and there but that is a good recommendation. They say that you should do half a practice test a week 8 weeks prior to a test and then a full-length practice test a month before you take the test. There is the question of the day that you can get e-mailed to you as well. I don’t think you need to spend thousands of dollars on test prep to get a great score. I think you need to discipline yourself to spend the daily time preparing and then maybe take a $500 course a month before the test to learn all the strategies you may need to know.

Trevor CreedenDirector of College and Career CounselingDelaware County Christian School

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

Start early and read! A lot of students think that the SAT or ACT is a test that they can just study for a week before the test like one of their other classroom tests and it is not. It is a test that takes strategy, clear thinking, critical thinking and test taking skills that need to be learned over time. There are so many ways to prepare out there today. Companies like Princeton Review, Kaplan, Powerscore, Huntington are making big money on prep courses these days. I feel like you can prepare just as well as any of these courses if you are disciplined enough to put in the time. We have a program through Naviance called Method Test Prep that is really well done in it’s structure and preparation. You can even order this program separately. It has audio and video explanations after every question you answer. They recommend that you spend a half hour a day up to 15 weeks before the test you are taking to properly prepare. Now, you may miss a day here and there but that is a good recommendation. They say that you should do half a practice test a week 8 weeks prior to a test and then a full-length practice test a month before you take the test. There is the question of the day that you can get e-mailed to you as well. I don’t think you need to spend thousands of dollars on test prep to get a great score. I think you need to discipline yourself to spend the daily time preparing and then maybe take a $500 course a month before the test to learn all the strategies you may need to know.

Benjamin CaldarelliPartnerPrinceton College Consulting, LLC

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

Private tutoring with an experienced expert.

Megan DorseySAT Prep & College AdvisorCollege Prep LLC

Learn and Retain Academic Content, Then Become Familiar with Test Format

It’s essential to know the academic content beforehand! In the two decades I’ve taught SAT/ACT Prep, I’ve noticed a majority of students are lacking knowledge of the academic areas tested: algebra, geometry, basic math, reading comprehension, college-bound vocabulary, standard grammar and usage, and critical thinking skills. The more you can learn and retain in school, the easier it will be to take the SAT and ACT. If you’re solid on academic content, test prep courses will teach you effective strategies and techniques for test taking. Some students can study on their own using library books and practice tests, while others need more personalized attention and accountability. No matter what method you chose, set clear, achievable goals and stick to a study calendar.

Laura O’Brien GatzionisFounderEducational Advisory Services

Practice Makes Perfect…Well maybe not perfect

but definitely better. All the test perp gurus who I have spoken to have stated that the best way to practice for these standardized entrance exams is to take the tests under testing conditions as many times as possible. I am also a huge fan of the free questions of the day offered by both Collegeboard and the ACT.

Nancy MilneOwnerMilne Collegiate Consulting

Test Prep

I personally love the daily question found on both the College Board’s and ETS’s websites. It also doesn’t hurt to become familiar with the type of questions you will be asked, as the format doesn’t change. While the SAT is more about your problem solving and reasoning skills, the ACT covers acquired knowledge. The day before the test please get a normal night’s sleep, eat a good breakfast, allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at the test site, and keep breathing! Once you have your scores you will know if you want to retake the exam and/or do a more in depth prep course. Most schools will only look at your highest scores, regardless.

Jessica BrondoFounder and CEOThe Edge in College Prep

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

The best ways to prepare for the SAT and/or ACT is through a comprehensive study method that is efficient, effective, and guarantees results. The Edge has successfully assisted hundreds of students in attaining their goal scores and the best way to guarantee results is with a customized approach. The best thing is to start with a diagnostic SAT and ACT to determine your specific areas of weakness and then prep for the test where you have the higher starting score. Whichever test you do, you should supplement your preparation (tutoring/online course/bootcamp) with REAL practice tests from either the College Board (SAT) or the ACT organization.

Suzan ReznickIndependent Educational ConsultantThe College Connection

Practice, practice, practice

For some students that might mean purchasing a books, such as The College Boards’ Real SAT Exams Putting in the time, by themselves, studying on a regular basis might be sufficient. Other students might benefit from taking a SAT class, and there are so many options today( at various prices ) including online classes or even working with a tutor thru Skype. Other students might find that working with a private tutor to be more effective, whether it is because they have academic challenges or that they are very bright and a class might move too slow for them. A good private tutor can focus in on how you learn best and only spend time on those sections of the exam that you need help with.

Jolyn BrandOwner/DirectorBrand College Consulting

Plan and study!

The best way to prepare for the SAT or the ACT is to plan ahead. Start two or three months before the test. Get a study guide and create an outline of sections you should read or practice. Don’t just assume that you’ll “get to reading it eventually”. Most of these books are 900+ pages! Start with a full practice test. You can take one online or one in the book. Grade how you did and then focus on the areas that you need to improve. The outline should list which sections, pages and weeks to read. Then do it! Start with the test format and overview. Then read a section on the reading questions. Then practice some of those questions. Go over your answers! Don’t just score it, but re-read and found out why you missed it. Then continue with the writing and math sections (and science section for the ACT). If you aren’t doing well on the practice questions or tests, consider signing up for a class or hiring a private tutor. The classes are more popular, but hard to schedule with busy students. Private tutors are more effective because they can focus on your weaknesses.

Alan SheptinOwnerSheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

Alan Sheptin, Sheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

As the owner of a test prep and college consulting company, I invariably tell students that some form of preparation is key. Whether you purchase a College Board SAT book or the Peterson ACT book, do something. There are many prep courses out there, ranging in price from virtually nothing to thousands of dollars. Don’t be fooled – paying thousands does not guarantee a better course. It just ensures the profitability of the company. It’s all what you make of the course. You can do a free on-line course (religiously, I may add) and get a lot out of it. Or your parents can pay $3000+ for a classroom course, you don’t do the work, and you get nothing out of it. Here are some things I recommend asking when looking at prep courses: 1. How much experience do your teachers have in teaching SAT and ACT prep? 2. What is the cap on class size? 3. Is there differentiated instruction (in other words, will students aiming for 800 on the Math part of the SAT be in a class with students hoping for 400). 4. Are simulated test experiences included in the tuition? 5. How is homework monitored (we always collect and review homework) 6. Can you provide references? (especially important when working with private tutors)

Calli ChristensonDirector CLC College Prep Services

Vocabulary Practice

My advice to students is to become an expert in vocabulary. It is amazing how much this little area will help you to do well on both tests. Sure, it’s important to prep for the math and writing, but knowing vocabulary words will help you in all areas of the tests. I would suggest a vocab study book or flashcards. There are numerous options on the market for students to choose from. If that feels like too much, here’s an even easier option: READ! Students who read for leisure (and you need to read more than Twilight or Harry Potter) are bound to do better on standardized test than student who do not read. Select books that will stretch your brain, cause you to think critically and challenge you in your vocabulary knowledge!

Zahir RobbCollege CounselorThe Right Fit College

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

There are a number of easily accessible tools available from the comfort of your own home. Do a quick Google search for the most commonly used SAT/ACT words and make some flashcards or use any number of free apps for you smart phone. In addition, grab a copy of the official guide to the SAT from Amazon for a few bucks and run through the sample tests in the back. There is a lot of money in test prep, but if you are willing to dedicate some time on your own you can make a big difference with your scores. For the ACT, remember that guessing isn’t penalized, so pick a letter and stick with it for those you have no idea on.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

It’s almost impossible to say that there are “best ways” to prepare for the SAT and the ACT because people learn in so many different ways. Here are a few tips, though: 1. Pay attention, study, and learn as much as you can in your school classes. Arrange for extra tutoring if you have difficulty with certain concepts. 2. Read. read. read! Choose challenging sources that interest you – novels, non-fiction, everything . . . You’ll increase your vocabulary, while learning a lot of new things. 3. Discover how the standardized tests are structured. Test practice books can be purchased and used for independent review. Notice the kinds of questions asked in the various sections of the test. Determine where your weaknesses are, and spend time working toward improvement in those areas. 4. Do some practice tests under timed test conditions. You’ll be able to determine where you may need to speed up. 5. Develop strategies for pacing yourself and for making an educated guess if you’re not 100% sure of an answer. (Guessing is not advisable if you don’t have the foggiest idea of an answer, but if you can eliminate several choices, so that you’re making a sensible guess from the remaining choices, it can work to your advantage.) 6. Use online sources for review. The test organizations offer options on their websites. For many students, It can be extremely beneficial to take a test preparation class. As always, this will depend on the instructor, but you will probably be given tips in the areas indicated above, as well as actual instruction in English usage, critical reading and writing strategies, and mathematics. Many students find that preparing for the tests in a structured, controlled environment works most effectively for them.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

It’s almost impossible to say that there are “best ways” to prepare for the SAT and the ACT because people learn in so many different ways. Here are a few tips, though: 1. Pay attention, study, and learn as much as you can in your school classes. Arrange for extra tutoring if you have difficulty with certain concepts. 2. Read. read. read! Choose challenging sources that interest you – novels, non-fiction, everything . . . You’ll increase your vocabulary, while learning a lot of interesting new things. 3. Discover how the standardized tests are structured. Test practice books can be purchased and used for independent review. Notice the kinds of questions asked in the various sections of the test. Determine where your weaknesses are, and spend time working toward improvement in those areas. 4. Do some practice tests under timed test conditions. You’ll be able to determine where you may need to speed up. 5. Develop strategies for pacing yourself. Don’t let yourself spend too much time on a question that’s giving you trouble. It will be better to move on, keeping up a good pace, and come back to the troublesome question if there is time remaining when you get to the end of that section. 6. Develop strategies for making an educated guess if you’re not 100% sure of an answer. (Guessing is not advisable if you don’t have the foggiest idea of an answer, but if you can eliminate several choices, so that you’re making a sensible guess from the remaining choices, it can work to your advantage.) 7. Use online sources for review. The test organizations offer options on their websites. For many students, It can be extremely beneficial to take a test preparation class. As always, this will depend on the instructor, but you will probably be given tips in the areas indicated above, as well as actual instruction in English usage, critical reading and writing strategies, and mathematics. Many students find that preparing for the tests in a structured, controlled environment works most effectively for them.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

It’s almost impossible to say that there are “best ways” to prepare for the SAT and the ACT because people learn in so many different ways. Here are a few tips, though: 1. Pay attention, study, and learn as much as you can in your school classes. Arrange for extra tutoring if you have difficulty with certain concepts. 2. Read. read. read! Choose challenging sources that interest you – novels, non-fiction, everything . . . You’ll increase your vocabulary, while learning a lot of interesting new things. 3. Test practice books can be purchased and used for independent review. 4. Discover how the standardized tests are structured. Knowing ahead of time how the questions will be presented and what the directions will be for the various sections can save you valuable time during the actual testing. 5. Notice the kinds of questions asked in the various sections of the test. Determine where your weaknesses are, and spend time working toward improvement in those areas. 6. Do some practice tests under timed test conditions. You’ll be able to determine where you may need to speed up. 7. Develop strategies for pacing yourself. Don’t let yourself spend too much time on a question that’s giving you trouble. It will be better to move on, keeping up a good pace, and come back to the troublesome question(s) if there is time remaining when you get to the end of that section. 8. Develop strategies for making an educated guess if you’re not 100% sure of an answer. (Guessing is not advisable if you don’t have the foggiest idea of an answer, but if you can eliminate several choices, so that you’re making a sensible guess from the remaining choices, it can work to your advantage.) 9. Use online sources for review. SAT and ACT both offer preparation options on their websites. For many students, It can be extremely beneficial to take a test preparation class. As always, this will depend on the instructor, but you will probably be given tips in the areas indicated above, as well as actual instruction in English usage, critical reading and writing strategies, and mathematics. Many students find that preparing for the tests in a structured, controlled environment works most effectively for them. There is the additional benefit of having the assistance of a real person who can answer your questions as they arise.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

It’s almost impossible to say that there are “best ways” to prepare for the SAT and the ACT because people learn in so many different ways. Here are a few tips, though: 1. Pay attention, study, and learn as much as you can in your school classes. Arrange for extra tutoring if you have difficulty with certain concepts. 2. Read. read. read! Choose challenging sources that interest you – novels, non-fiction, everything . . . You’ll increase your vocabulary, while learning a lot of interesting new things. 3. Test practice books can be purchased and used for independent review. 4. Discover how the standardized tests are structured. Knowing ahead of time how the questions will be presented and what the directions will be for the various sections can save you valuable time during the actual testing. 5. Notice the kinds of questions asked in the various sections of the test. Determine where your weaknesses are, and spend time working towards improvement in those areas. 6. Do some practice tests under timed test conditions. You’ll be able to determine where you may need to speed up. 7. Develop strategies for pacing yourself. Don’t let yourself spend too much time on a question that’s giving you trouble. It will be better to move on, keeping up a good pace, and come back to the troublesome question(s) if there is time remaining when you get to the end of that section. 8. Develop strategies for making educated guesses if you’re not 100% sure of some answers. (Guessing is not advisable if you don’t have the foggiest idea of an answer, but if you can eliminate several choices, so that you’re making a sensible guess from the remaining choices, it can work to your advantage.) 9. Use online sources for review. SAT and ACT both offer preparation options on their websites. For many students, It can be extremely beneficial to take a test preparation class. As always, this will depend on the instructor, but you will probably be given tips in the areas indicated above, as well as actual instruction in English usage, critical reading and writing strategies, and mathematics. Many students find that preparing for the tests in a structured, controlled environment works most effectively for them. There is the additional benefit of having the assistance of a real person who can answer your questions as they arise.

Alexis AvilaFounderPrepped & Polished, LLC

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

If you are questioning whether to take the ACT or the SAT, take a practice test for both to best decide which direction to pursue. For the most realistic practice tests, I recommend purchasing both the Official Study Guide by College Board and the Real ACT Prep Guide by Petersons. After taking each practice test, use this ACT, SAT concordance table to analyze the results. The best test for top-level students can be either the ACT, the SAT or both. If you are strong in academics, that does not necessarily mean the ACT is the best test for you. While the ACT is a more academic-oriented test, strong academic students tend to do well on both tests. If you have trouble focusing during tests, then consider taking the ACT. The ACT is 20 minutes shorter than the SAT – or 50 minutes shorter if you decide to take the ACT without writing. On the flip side, attention-deficit test takers might find it easier to move fluidly through the SAT test since the individual sections are shorter in length than the ACT sections. So ask yourself this question: Do you want a longer SAT test with ten short sections, or a shorter ACT test with four or five longer sections? If you are leaning towards taking the ACT, try to sign up for the ACT with writing versus the ACT without writing. Most schools – especially top-tier colleges – require or prefer the ACT with writing, so adding the essay component to the ACT is usually worth the trouble. If you have test anxiety, consider taking the ACT. There is no guessing penalty on the ACT and there are less answer choices to choose from on all sections except the math section. Less answer choices plus no guessing penalty equals less to worry about for anxious test takers. If you are horrible at science and more importantly have trouble extrapolating information from tables and graphs, then consider taking the SAT. There is no science section on the SAT test. Just keep in mind that the ACT science section doesn’t cover in depth science content, but is more a test of reading charts and tables. If you have the budget to afford a private tutor, then consider taking the SAT. There are tons of tricks and strategies on the SAT that a well-seasoned SAT tutor can teach you to master. A tutor can certainly help you improve your ACT score, but preparing for the more straightforward ACT test – as long as you are a self-motivated student – is something that can be done on your own.

Blake Wrobbel

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

There are some opinions out there that recommend you take Kaplan courses or other classes to help you “learn” how to take these exams. The SAT and ACT aren’t easy exams, but the exams you’ve taken through out your schooling have prepared you for this format of a test, so don’t be worried you’ll be thrown a huge curve ball. The reason to avoid courses is 1.) they are costly. Often hundreds of dollars. Some people pay over a thousand for these courses and 2.) they are covering exactly the same material as can be found in a SAT/ACT study book. First, start studying 5-8 months before the test. This gives you ample time to review the material, take a practice exam, review, practice, review, etc. Practice is what will make you better. Practice will get you a good score. Find a study book with at least 4 practice tests, run through the material in the book, reading the recommendations the book has for approaching problems. They’ll often have tips and strategies followed by practice questions. Run through the book like you would a textbook. The book is your guiding-light. When you’ve studied a thorough amount of the material, take a practice test. Plan your practice test for a Saturday morning or afternoon as if you were taking the real SAT or ACT. Have a hearty and healthy breakfast, get fully dressed, and sit down and take the practice test. Time yourself and limit yourself to the materials allowed in the exam in order to simulate the test. Because the SAT & ACT have a certain approach to its questions, practice will make you more familiar with the format and wording of the questions. Once you’ve taken your first practice exam grade it and take a couple days or a week off. Then review the materials in the front sections again. Then take the practice exam again. Repeat until you feel confident you understand the format, the flow, and the feel of the exam and its questions. It may be draining to take the practice exam more than three times. It may seem dull, and your motivation may be low. If this happens, take some more time off. You don’t want to burnout studying for the SAT or ACT, or you’ll be less receptive and motivated when the test rolls along. Good luck studying!

Pam ProctorAuthor The College Hook

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

Here is my video response to the question.

Pam ProctorAuthor The College Hook

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

Here is my video response to the question.

Annie ReznikCounselor/CEOCollege Guidance Coach

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

4 Basic Test Strategies for Students 1. Test the waters, early All students should plan to take the PSAT (practice SAT exam) and PLAN (practice ACT exam) during both sophomore and junior years. Early exposure to the format of standardized tests will improve both confidence and performance for the official sitting. Students should plan to take their first SAT and ACT exams early in the spring semester of junior year. This timeline offers students ample opportunity for targeted preparation for a second sitting. 2. Familiarity breeds success The more familiar students are with the format of an exam, the higher the likelihood of earning a score befitting ability. Both the SAT and ACT formats are similar to a crossword puzzle, or the popular television show, Jeopardy!, in that the questions are posed in an unusual format. Frequent puzzlers or quiz show loyalists have an advantage over novices because they get the quirks of how questions are posed. Prior to taking the SAT or ACT, students should understand the layout, question types, and directions that they will encounter. One of the most effective and proven forms of test preparation is taking full practice exams. 3. Senior year sitting Unless you earned a perfect score on the SAT or ACT, always plan on taking a standardized test during senior year. Something happens in the summer between junior and senior year that more often than not improves performance on standardized tests. Whether it is maturity, information synthesis, or greater seriousness of purpose, senior year testing is often the time students earn their strongest score. 4. Take both the ACT and SAT Nearly all colleges and universities accept either the ACT or SAT. It is to a student’s advantage to try both tests and determine a preference. It isn’t necessary to repeat both exams. Only repeat the stronger of the two tests. Keep in mind that colleges and universities want to report high scores, too. So, they will take your best score regardless of test administration.

Annie ReznikCounselor/CEOCollege Guidance Coach

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

There are two key predictors of success on college admission standardized tests. The first predictor of success on the SAT and ACT is taking a challenging high school course load. However, by the time that “test prep” comes to mind, course selection is long since set. The second predictor of success is repeated exposure to the test. Test prep tutors and companies focus on repetition to help students earn improved scores. Make sure that your test prep plan focuses on test experience not content.

Carita Del ValleFounderAcademic Decisions

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

The best way is to first take an actual test – either through the SAT/ACT, or a practice test. After it has been scored then you will know those areas that you will need improvement on and which type of help you will be looking for based on your personal learning style and that is within your budget.

Dr. Bruce NeimeyerCEO/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

There are a number of ways that students can prepare for these exams. Beyond paying attention in class and doing well in high school, here are some more targeted ways…. 1. A student can engage with a company such as Kaplan or the Princeton Review to take you by the hand in classroom settings to gear you up for and make you comfortable with taking the exam. But, this can be one of the more costly options. 2. Engage with an individual tutor who can tailor what they do for you to get ready. You may be weak in a particular area and need more assistance with this. This again is costly but might be a wise investment depending on what you are trying to accomplish. 3. If you are self motivated, you can pick up a number of guides that also have exercises and study materials for the test content. They even have sample exams you can take at the end to test how well you might expect to do on the real exam. This is certainly less costly but you will need to be self motivated to get it done. No one is going to come in and help you open the book and read it. It is all you in this instance so be ready for that should you choose this path. 4. A great way to build your vocabulary for the exams is to use some vocabulary building books. There are even apps for that now on smart phones. It is something you can do while riding the bus or waiting for your parents to pick you up from school and you will begin to sound a lot more intelligent as well which is an nice extra bonus! There are lots more but this is just a taste……

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

PRACTICE TESTS.

Eric Beers, Ph.D.College and Career CounselorAir Academy High School

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

Both the ACT and SAT have sample tests and questions at their websites (actstudent.org and collegeboard.org) In many counseling offices, there are sample test booklets with full length ACT and SAT practice tests. There are many private companies that provide ACT/SAT prep classes. Talk to you counselor about the ones in your area.

Dawn Ducharme

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

Start early!! Bookmark SAT and ACT Question of the Day sites and do a problem each day. This will help you get familiar with question formats and topics. It is best to study each day for a short period of time than to spend hours right before the test.

Nina ScullerDirectorCollege Prep

Preparing for the SAT and ACT

Practice! Practice! Practice! Studies show that students who are familiar with the types of questions and the layout of the test will perform better. Both of the websites associated with these tests offer practice tests and questions for free. USE THESE RESOURCES. SAT has more vocabulary questions (the sentence completions) a good vocabulary is helpful. There are many resources to build a good vocabulary. Nothing beats using the words in sentences. When I practice for the SAT with my students, I make them write words they don’t know on index cards and write their definition on the backside. I quiz them by having them use the words in a sentence that makes sense. Dictionary.com has a word of the day program that can be sent to your mailbox or smart phone. Practice using those words in sentences with friends who are also studying for the the SAT. Students should read more! Reading comprehensively is a skill, so it should be practiced like basketball or the piano. Know your math, get a book that explains math concepts if math is an area of weakness. Practice! Practice! Practice!

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

There is no best way – whatever works for you is best. Consider taking a prep course, study old exams, or 1 on 1 tutoring.

Eric Beers, Ph.D.College and Career CounselorAir Academy High School

What are the best ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT?

Both the ACT and SAT have sample tests and questions at their websites (actstudent.org and collegeboard.org) In many counseling offices, there are sample test booklets with full length ACT and SAT practice tests. There are many private companies that provide ACT/SAT prep classes. Talk to you counselor about the ones in your area. The best way to prepare for ACT or SAT is by taking challenging classes in school. It doesn’t take any “extra” prep work, taking good, college-prep classes will look good to colleges AND prepare you to take your standardized tests!

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