Archive for the ‘Test Prep Resources’ Category

Your Sophomore Year: The Ultimate Guide to the PSAT

psat planThink you’re off the standardized test hook until next year? Think again. Most 10th graders will take the PSAT test at some point this year, and they’re an important part of the college prep process.

So, what is it for? The test is designed to get you ready for the ACT or SAT. It won’t count for anything on your school records – colleges won’t ask for this score and it won’t have any impact on your GPA. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously.

Doing your best is critical. Taking the PSAT tells you where you need to improve to do well on the SAT or ACT later on. When you know where you need to study or what subjects trip you up, you’ll be able to prepare better and boost your test scores when they actually matter.

As if that wasn’t reason enough to do well, a great PSAT score can earn you college money. The National Merit Scholarship program is always on the lookout for students who have high PSAT scores – making the cut help you secure scholarships or grants to lower the cost of college.

Most importantly, a strong PSAT score gives you a serious confidence boost. Feeling good about your ability to ace an important test will go a long way when it’s time to take the SAT or ACT.

Talk to your guidance counselor or a teacher to figure out when you’ll take the PSAT. And even though studying isn’t a must, we still recommend it! Check out our top standardized study tips and good luck!

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Do I Need to Retake the SAT or ACT?

If you took the ACT or SAT last year and are relieved to be done with it, don’t put down that No. 2 pencil just yet!

standardized testMost of us won’t magically get perfect scores on the third (or fourth, or fifth) try. But people who test again generally do a little better the second time around. ACT data shows almost 60 percent of students improved their score after retaking it, and more than 55 percent of students who took the SAT as juniors improved their scores by signing up again later.

So, should you retake the test? Here’s what you should think about:

Are You A Nervous Tester?
Test nerves strike everyone at some point. If those butterflies in your stomach got the best of you the first time around, try taking the test again. You have experience now, meaning you may be more comfortable and at ease than you were last year.

Did Life Throw You A Curveball?
Were you sick on test day? Had a family member passed away the day before? Did you get into a fight with your BFF that morning? Unfortunately, it’s all too common to have something distracting pop up just as test day arrives. These things make it hard to focus and can hurt your score.

Work your memory to see if anything kept you from testing well that day. Did a jittery tummy keep you from eating breakfast, but you were starving during the test? Maybe you had trouble with comprehension because you were too nervous to sleep the night before. Try testing again – just make sure you don’t get into the same situation next time!

Did You Study? No, Really.
Do you feel like the only one who didn’t do any ACT or SAT prep? Feeling ready can do wonders for your score. Sign up for another test and make sure you get a practice book or review any concepts you struggled with last time. Remember, cramming doesn’t work, so start studying early on. Our top study tips can help!

Do You Want Merit Scholarships?
Higher scores = more scholarship opportunities. Need money for school? Study hard and retake the test.

What Score Do You Need?
What’s your dream school? Compare your test score to their average incoming freshman’s result (you can use our college acceptance calculator to do that!). If these numbers don’t match up, it’s time to sign up for a retake. And just in case you don’t push that score as high as you’d like it, add a few more schools to your list. You can always reach for your favorite colleges, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few safeties in mind, too.

Good luck!

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Want to Boost Your SAT or ACT Score?

Summer is in full swing. What does that mean, besides spending lots of time in the sun? It means it’s time to sign up for ACT or SAT retakes.

Maybe you got a great score the first time around. Maybe you could have done a little better. Or maybe you completely bombed it. No matter how you think you did, it’s worth taking the test one more time.

standardized test

It’s simple. Data from both SAT and ACT show more than half of students who take the tests a second time earn higher scores.

Even if you got a great result the first time around, it doesn’t hurt to see if you can boost it a little higher. The better your score, the greater your chances of getting into your reach schools. Schools that seemed unattainable may no longer be such a stretch if you can really improve your scores.

More importantly, higher scores could mean more scholarships. Taking the test one more time is an easy way to earn more financial aid.

Start prepping today with our list of study tips. And don’t forget to tell any friends who weren’t too happy with their first scores either!

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