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5 Steps to ACT/SAT Success

Anyone who has done it can tell you that applying for college takes a lot of work and can often be a tiresome process. Since there are so many things to take care of, you may at first feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do first. Luckily, one of the earliest steps can be pretty straightforward: take the ACT and the SAT tests. The tests should be taken during your junior year of high school, before you even begin the rest of the application process. Most schools require either an ACT score or SAT score, or very commonly both, so here are a few tips on how to succeed!

1.) Take as many practice tests as you can. The ACT student website has a section of practice questions that you can use to familiarize yourself with the layout of the test and the type of questions asked. The SAT website has an entire page dedicated to SAT practice material. If your school or classes offer practice tests, take advantage of the opportunity to figure out what types of questions you may feel the need to study more than others.

2.) Purchase prep books or find recent editions at your school to borrow. If you find it helpful to have a physical guide to help you prepare, you can buy a prep book (Amazon sells them for very good prices) or you can borrow them from your school if they have them available. They can be very valuable assets; they can include full length tests, notes on testing procedures, and full information on every type of testing question. If you can, try and find a guide for the most recent year possible.

3.) Direct a larger amount of your studying focus on your most difficult subject. Treat it as if it were any other test in school that you needed to study for. If math or science is one of your more difficult subjects, spend a bit more time preparing for that. You may find that feeling more prepared for something that’s challenging to you may make the whole testing process seem less daunting. Also, ask for help from teachers you know in whichever area it is that you have more difficulty with.

4.) Ask questions to those who have taken the tests before. If you have any questions that you might not easily find answers to on the ACT or SAT websites, ask questions to any friends or family that have taken the tests before (preferably recently). They may also give you specific testing advice or share their knowhow with you.

5.) Get a goodnight’s sleep beforehand and prepare yourself mentally on the morning of the test. If you go to bed early the night before the test and eat a healthy, filling breakfast in the morning, it will help you feel your best so you can do your best! Look over your testing materials once more for a brief moment to help yourself get into the test-taking mindset.

If you follow any or all of these steps, you’ll definitely be prepared to succeed when it comes to the ACT and SAT tests. Study hard and good luck!

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