One starts SAT and ACT test preparation exactly where they start with anything else in life – at the beginning. At a certain point, a person is not prepared at all, and at another point they are perfectly prepared to sit for these exams and net a score that will help them matriculate at the college or university of their choosing.
In reality, test preparation begins in the classroom, as the skills and knowledge examined by these tests are the same skills and knowledge that are taught as part of any public or private school’s curriculum. A person does, though, need to refine his or her skills and train for the SAT or ACT at some point…but where to start?
It’s best to begin preparation by understanding what needs to be improved upon, and the best way to find that out is by taking a practice exam. There are a number of quality practice examinations available – including those through Testive – and a quality practice exam is the best place to start.
Before preparation begins, a student should sit for a practice exam and give it their best effort in conditions that are close to those on test day. To get an accurate practice test score, students should wake up early on a Saturday morning, get a ride to a local library, start the practice test no later than 7:45 am, and time every section. This way, the test-taker can learn what areas they are already prepared for, what areas need some work and what areas, if any, are in need of much more refinement and development prior to taking the real test.
Once a practice examination has been taken, the work can begin in earnest.
By taking practice examinations and identifying weak areas on the SAT or ACT, this gives the student taking longer to prepare an advantage over students that prepare over shorter periods. The test-taker has more time to shore up any weaker subjects or aspects that need improvement and further development. Forewarned, as the saying goes, is forearmed, and you – or for concerned parents, your child – should take advantage of every conceivable opportunity that you can to adequately prepare for testing without wasting time on the wrong practice questions.
Test prep, like learning any new skill, should be reasonable and regular. A practice regimen of a reasonable amount of time – say 30 to 45 minutes per day, several days per week if not every day – over the course of 3 to 4 months prior to taking the test should be sufficient to adequately prepare a student to take the ACT or SAT.
As a rule of thumb, the sum total of all of your practice and practice tests should be around 100 hours when you are done with your major prep effort.
As with any skill, repetition is the key to gaining not only knowledge, but competence. With competence comes confidence, and a confident student is likely to go into the test with much less stress than a student that hasn’t prepared at all. A determined, but relaxed test-taker is more likely to conquer the test and achieve his or her full potential score.
Learning is like lifting weights at the gym. It’s impossible to bench press 300 pounds on the first try and it’s difficult to cram for the SAT and see significant improvement.
A student that crams in the weeks leading up to testing won’t gain the knowledge in a real way because one or two weeks just isn’t enough time to learn something new.. Likely none of the preparation material will be retained and ultimately their SAT or ACT score simply won’t improve.
Here at Testive SAT prep, we can offer practice sat examinations, one-one-one coaching, as well as a personalized and comprehensive sat and act study plan, tailored to the individual needs of the student. Progress can be tracked in real-time, and both student and parents can take part in the process.
This way, the test-taker can be better and more adequately prepared to sit for the SAT or ACT, and thus better prepared to achieve a higher score..
By undergoing Testive’s comprehensive preparation program, developed by Ivy League coaches, your child can develop not only the skills to conquer the SAT and the ACT, but the confidence to do so. By removing the stress from the equation, they realize their full potential on a test that can help them unlock new opportunities in the college admissions process..
Request a brochure today, and start preparing for the test of a lifetime!
Tom Rose is the co-founder and CEO of Testive, an online SAT and ACT prep company. Tom started Testive at MIT, after spending years as a highly paid private SAT and ACT tutor, to provide students with personalized, efficient, and affordable test prep.