Studying for the SAT or ACT

Most colleges require high school students or any person entering college for the first time to complete the SAT or ACT test for admission. These tests measure how college-ready a student is at the time of the test. Some colleges use these test scores to place students into First Year Composition and Math classes. Some professional programs, such as business or engineering, need a certain minimum test score for admission in addition to the university admission requirements.

Students seeking to get into any college or any program should study before sitting for the SAT or ACT test. Here are a few recommendations that may help students study for these college readiness tests. If students are looking to save money, there are ways in addition to these to study for free.

1) Review study guides. Students should check out more than one study guide. Each study guide will have pertinent information that will help a student prepare for the test. Often these study guides will come with more tips and tricks and preparation ideas.

2) Take a practice test. Official sites for the SAT or ACT test information offer online practice tests and questions to help students prepare for the real test. Students should use these practice tests as a way to become comfortable with the testing format and time constraints.

3) Ask for help. High school teachers or personal tutors can offer a lot of help in certain areas that a student feels he or she lacks in. After completing a practice exam, a student should find those areas where he/she had lower confidence in and ask a Math teacher or English teacher for help on those specific subjects to help increase confidence and hopefully increase the test score.

4) Take a prep class. Some high schools offer a test prep class for the SAT or ACT for a nominal fee. Outside prep classes not affiliated with the school are also offered at a certain cost. These prep classes are often taught by people who have obtained high scores themselves or have experience in testing services.

5) Take the ACT or SAT. Students can take the SAT or ACT multiple times. Sometimes a student might want to take the test without studying to become comfortable with the testing environment, as well as the test questions. After receiving the test score, a student can analyze the areas which may need improvement and study those particular areas and take the test again. Note that there will be a charge for each test and a time period the student must wait to take the test again. Students might want to look at the differences between the SAT and ACT prior to registering for a test.

Studying for SAT or ACTCredit: Arjun Kartha

Depending on the college readiness exam that a student will take, the student will want to cover the material tested since each test covers different areas. The student will want to focus time and energy in the subject areas that may need more practice or where a lack of skills or confidence is a concern. 

Studying and practicing for the tests are the two most important factors in performing well and obtaining a high test score. Students will do well if they have high confidence and have taken the time to study the SAT or ACT material.