Tips for Preparing for the SAT and ACT

The SAT and the ACT can be considered the most important tests in a student's education. They can determine which college you go to and whether or not you get scholarships. The tests measure your critical thinking skills and some basic knowledge. However, it also measures your ability to prepare for a difficult task. It is often said that it is difficult study for the SAT. That's not exactly true. While it is difficult to study very specific material, you can study general areas and study the test's structure.

There are many ways to prepare for both the SAT and ACT. Here are a few tips you can try:

Practice Often

As with anything, practicing is an important part of preparing for the SAT and ACT. Since it is difficult to study a particular topic with any specificity in order to prepare, it is important to familiarize yourself with the type of questions that will be asked. The best way to become comfortable with the test is to take mock versions. Take them often enough that once the actual test comes along, you are used to the style of questions, time constraints and test structure. There are several places online where you can take mock tests and develop study guides.

Tips for Preparing for the SAT and ACT

Find a Test Prep Course

If you feel like you need some extra assistance to do well on your exam, you can look for a good test prep course to prepare with help from professionals. There are several options to choose from:

  • The Princeton Review is a prestigious SAT and ACT prep course that has online and offline courses and many practice tests. Visit the site for more.
  • Kaplan has on-site SAT and ACT prep courses and personalized tutoring in many sites around the country. This is one of the best options, especially for the SAT. Visit the site for more.
  • PowerSource has both flexible tutoring options and quick intensive course prep for last minute studying. Visit the site for more.

Study Vocabulary

You don't have to memorize every English word there is, but you should study commonly used words. You should be able to find lists of the most commonly used SAT and ACT words including everything from aberration to zenith. Studying these can increase your score even if there are occasional words that aren't on anyone's list. It would also be helpful to study word roots and origins. If you study the etymology of words, you may be able to determine the meaning of the word just by its roots.

Study Math

There are no two ways around it, to do well in the math portions of standardized tests you will need to study math. First you have to learn how to solve each type of math equation. Look at practice tests to find out what kind of questions and equations you might find. Then learn how to solve each type of equation. If you try to familiarize yourself with the equations you can eliminate the possibility of surprise questions during the exam.

The second thing you should study is word problems and how to decipher complicated questions. If Sally has three apples and she gives you two, how are you supposed to solve the problem? You can know every equation there is, but if you don't know which one to use when faced with confusing text you may have an issue. Study enigmatic word problems and find ways to turn them into simple equations.

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