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.