Part of your Highschool experience is taking tests, and there are few bigger or more important than the SAT and ACT exams. Below, we’ll answer 2 key questions about these tests, and share 5 proven ways to prepare for your SAT and ACT and score higher on them.
What’s the difference between the SAT and ACT exams?
The SAT (Scholarship Assessment Test) exam looks for aptitudes in reading, writing, and match comprehension.
- 1.7 million students in the class of 2022 took the SAT at least once
- The SAT exam is offered 7 times a year
- The average score was 1050 out of 1600 possible.
The ACT (American College Testing) exam assesses skills in English, math, science, and social studies.
- 1, 295,000 students in the class of 2022 took the SAT at least once (38% of high school graduates)
- The ACT exam is offered 7 times a year
- The average score was 20.3 out of 36 possible.
How do I register for the SAT and ACT exams?
You can register for either exam or both at the College Board website.
- Official Website: https://satsuite.collegeboard.org/sat
- Cost: $55 Find information about SAT fee waivers here
- SAT dates and deadlines: https://satsuite.collegeboard.org/sat/registration/dates-deadlines
- Official Website: https://www.act.org/
- Cost: $60 (no writing), $85 (with writing). Find information about ACT fee waivers here.
- ACT dates and deadlines: https://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/registration.html
How do I prepare for the SAT and ACT exams?
1. Start Studying Early
Studying is a skill, which means anyone can learn it and continually improve it. There are many approaches to studying. Explore methods until you find a few that work for you, then dig in and start!
- Get organized. One of the most effective study tools is organization. Know when, where, how, and what you’re going to study — a planner helps!
- Pay attention. When you’re alert and concentrating in class, you’ll be able to spend less time outside of class reviewing information.
- Remove distractions. Steer clear of friends who distract you during class and study time. Put your phone in Do Not Disturb. And clear your study space of any unnecessary items.
2. Get Familiar with the Format and Instructions
On test day, you don’t want to spend a lot of time reading through the instructions. Prior to your test, take the time to understand each section of the test, the format of the questions, time allotted, and length of the test.
3. Take Practice Tests to prepare for your SAT and ACT
As you prepare for either or both tests, make time to run through a practice test. This will allow you to understand the format, and to see what areas you excel in and what areas you may need to study more thoroughly. Do this early in your preparation so you can organize your time and attention effectively.
- SAT Practice Test: https://www.khanacademy.org/sat/confirmed
- ACT Practice Test: https://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/test-preparation/free-act-test-prep.html
4. Consider a Tutor
If you don’t have great study habits, don’t know where to begin in your test preparation, or want to give yourself the best score possible, consider hiring a tutor. They’ll help keep you focused, accountable, and efficient with your time. And you’ll walk into your test confident that you’ve prepared to the best of your ability.
5. Rest the Night Before
Whether you’re nervous or confident about SAT or ACT exam day, your best course of last-minute action is not cramming, it’s sleeping. A good night’s before a big test can improve your performance. But to boost it even more, develop a great sleep routine as part of your early study habits. In one sleep study, researchers estimate the better sleep accounted for nearly 25% of the difference in academic performance.
When you prepare for your SAT and ACT using these 5 keys to success, you’ll reduce anxiety and increase your scores dramatically. And if you need a mentor as you pursue your college prep we can help!