5 Top Tips to Prepare for Your SAT/ACT Exam
By: The Test Prep Company
Getting ready to take the SAT or ACT exam for the first time? Or about to take it for the second or even third time? If there’s one thing you’ve probably realized as you’ve started this journey is that the SAT and ACT exams are no joke! Sitting down for several hours to answer multiple choice questions early in the morning is not for the faint of heart. But fear not! There are some very simple and easy tips that you can follow to be prepared, relaxed, confident, and set up for success come Test Day.
Preparing several months in advance of your test date is definitely ideal. If it can be helped, having at least 4-months to plan and prepare is great. That’s not to say that you can’t still do very well on the SAT or ACT if, for whatever reason, only had a few short weeks to get ready. But all things being equal, starting no later than
4-months before the date of the exam will give you the time you need to learn the ins and outs of the exam, make mistakes, learn from them, and start mastering the material.
Take Full Practice Tests
Practice, practice, practice! Since you’ll be taking a several hours exam, the best way to prepare for something so time-consuming is to carve out that same time on a weekend and do an entire test from start to finish. And if you can do two or three practice tests, one at the beginning when you first start and one at the end right before test day, even better. By doing an entire test at the beginning, you’ll learn exactly what your weak points, and your strong points, are so that you can plan accordingly. It might be that you find out that the Math section is your strongest area of the exam while the English section is something you need to work on. Thankfully because you followed the tip in Point 1, you have plenty of time to improve!
Learn to Manage Your Time
This is perhaps the single most important tip on this list. Learn to manage your time on the exam! This requires a lot of discipline and discernment to do really well. What do we mean by manage your time while taking the exam? We’ll explain! On the SAT, there are 154 questions and 215 questions on the ACT. That’s a lot of questions! And because both exams give you about 3 hours (essay not included), you will have about an average of 1 minute and 10 seconds to answer each question on the SAT and, for the ACT, an average of 36 seconds! If you take 2 or even three minutes to answer a really hard question, you’ve just lost your allotted time to answer the next one or two questions that come after. Some questions you’ll be able to answer in seconds, and others will take 3 or 4 minutes but knowing which
questions to dedicate more time on, and which questions to come back to on if you are stumped, takes a lot of test discernment, which comes from practice ie. Points 1 and 2!
Study with a Tutor or a Group
If you can help it, study with someone else! Try to get together with a group of other students taking the exam, at least once a week or once every other week, to study together, help each other on weak areas, and to just be an all-around encouragement. Preparing with a tutor, such as The Test Prep Company, is also very helpful if you want someone to develop a study plan for you, and work 1-1 with you to help score as high as possible on the exam. Working with a tutor will help focus your studies and preparations so that you spend time on what is truly most essential, instead of feeling like your prep is all over the place.
Know What to Expect on Test Day
Knowing what to expect on the date of the exam is really helpful in calming your nerves. Do you know what time to arrive? Can you bring a snack and some water? What type of calculator are you able to use? Looking these things up in advance and knowing what’s-what on Test Day, allows you to focus on the exam, and not distracting, miscellaneous details.
Need help preparing for your SAT or ACT exam? If you are interested in 1-1 Test Prep sessions with a highly experienced tutor to help you get your highest score possible on your exam, contact The Test Prep Company today!
Processing your application
There was an error sending the email, please try again
Great!Check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription
Back to Homepage