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SAT & ACT Preparation: A Lesson With “Should” and “Don’t Want to…”

The existence of SAT & ACT prep courses, books, tutors, online questions, etc. shows that with practice a student has the possibility of increasing her/his scores.   Yet, when it comes to practicing, who wants to sit down with a 600+ pages thick, 8.5″ x 11″, doorstop looking, test prep book by oneself or in a room with 12 other teens and a tutor all with the same, bored, heads propped up on hands, droopy eyed look on their faces on consecutive Saturdays during the summer?  Then, a conflict arises and the should-ing begins–you should practice, why shouldn’t you practice…I don’t want to practice…you get the point.

You didn’t think getting to college was going to be easy, did you?

Think about the times when you’ve worked and worked; didn’t the outcome, regardless if it was your intended outcome, feel more gratifying?

Here’s a couple tips to guide your practice:

  • Separate concept review from test taking skills building.  The timed circumstances of the SAT and ACT lead students to do both.  Efficient and accurate answers require students to correctly recognize the information the test question is asking, AND having the knowledge memorized to answer the question.
  • Focus on the test sections that most need improving.  Think through the section you thought was the most challenging or take a section of a practice test and score it.  Then, determine what you most need to  review to improve. (This part may need a second person to ask you questions and give an outside perspective to your self-assessment.)

The rest of your life isn’t going to be determined by a right answer on ONE question of the SAT or ACT.    If you do all you can to be ready for the test, then what else can you do?