8 Steps to Prepare for the ACT or SAT

8 Steps to Prepare for the ACT or SAT

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As a high school junior, you’re probably starting to think about studying for the SAT or ACT. Check out these eight steps you can take to get yourself pumped and prepared for your big exam!

Give Yourself Six Weeks

When it comes to standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, many find that six weeks is a good amount of time to really buckle down and start preparing. It’s enough time to really get the hang of what you’re doing, but not such a long time that you begin forgetting things. This doesn’t mean you can’t familiarize yourself with words or problems in the meantime.

Familiarize Yourself with the Test

You don’t want to study all vocabulary and algebra for the SAT, only to find out later there’s geometry as well. Similarly, you don’t want to spend too much time studying trigonometry for the ACT and completely forget there’s a reading portion. Know exactly what’s on the test, how long it takes, and what format it’s in.

Consider a Class

Taking an SAT or ACT prep course can be one of the best things you can do for your score. Even if it’s just a three hour review class offered on a Saturday, you might want to think about grabbing some of your buddies and attending!

Find Your Best Study Method

There are dozens of materials you can use to prep for these kinds of tests on your own, and it all depends on what works best for you. Review books can be bought at book stores, flash cards can be made, and online sites can offer practice problems, explanations, and advice for the big day. Try learning from multiple sources.

Baby Steps

While you may find it helpful to take a practice test at the very beginning, just to give yourself an idea of where you are without any studying at all, you probably don’t want to start with a bunch of these the first week. Instead, spend an hour each night reviewing the material and completing problems related to that material.

Review As You Go

As you begin your second and third weeks studying for the SAT or ACT, you may want to begin adding things back in that you brushed up on your first week. Keep familiarizing yourself with what you have studied, weeks after you studied it, so you can retain everything that you’re learning!

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Unfortunately, just reading a list of vocabulary words and their definitions, or material on how to do an algebra problem will not be very helpful when it comes to test day. You will have to actually do practice problems. Get as much practice as you can and take practice tests from start to finish.

Know What You Need Test Day

Before going to take your exam, make sure you know when the exam starts, what to bring, and what rules to follow, as forgetting something simple like your school ID could prevent you from taking the test.

Original Post Date: September 20th, 2012

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