How to prepare for your SATs and ACTs

03 Oct 2018 - Moiz

As the beginning of high school signifies the end of your public and basic education, there is one more obstacle that you must overcome before you can put on that cap and gown and receive your high school diploma; your SATs and ACTs. Your SATs and ACTs are the main signifiers, besides your grades and extracurriculars, to colleges about what type of person you are and if you are capable of achieving more than what you have done in high school, or if the level of success that you achieved in high school is the best you will ever do and that it is not worth the time and effort to house and teach you at their university. Due to this, the SATs and ACTs are a sore subject for many students and instead of focusing on their main classes, students will focus on this one test and for good reason as this test may make or break your entrance into your dream school.

Screenshot of SAT Score (1540)

Many students face anxiety over the SATs and ACTs and due to this are ready to do anything in order to receive a good score. They go and talk to others who achieved the scores that they want and receive advice on how to get them. While it is always a good idea to get feedback from your peers, do not let this be the only way you prepare for your exam. What may work for your peers, may not work for you. On top of this, do not try to learn unknown subjects days before the test. Review what you know as the SATs and ACTs cover what you learned up until your junior year, so you have been preparing for this test ever since you entered high school. Understand that there will be concepts that may seem foreign to you and know that a couple of questions won’t push your grade down from 1600 to 1000. Finally, once you plan to take the test, create a study schedule and learn how you are going to study. For the first part, all this means is that you are consistent with your studying, maybe 15 minutes a day for 60 days before the test. For the second part, all this is saying is establish how you would want to study. For those who learn better in the classroom, it might be easier if you enroll in a class with teachers trying to teach you about how to take the test. On the other hand, if you learn better from self-study, buying a $1000+ class may be a waste of money. There are other, cheaper ways to study, like textbooks and Khan Academy.

The SAT and ACT are what colleges see, besides your grades and extracurriculars, and in order to make a good first impression, you have to play to your strengths and study the materials that will be on the SATs and ACTs in a way that is most beneficial to you.

If you have any questions about the SAT or ACT, post a comment below!

Moiz is a regular contributor to the Verdant Leaf who shaves daily.