Summer vacation has started and it’s time to hit the beach… and the books.
These next couple of months should definitely be filled with beach days, cookouts, and time with friends. It is important, however, to include some time for test prep. Now is the perfect time to prepare for the fall testing season. So, here are three things you need to do now before the fall tests:
- Create a plan. Now is the time to decide which tests you’re taking in the fall. The ACT and SAT have some differences—like timing, essay prompts, and the ACT Science—which means that some students are better suited for the SAT, while others are better suited for the ACT. Fortunately, if you decide to take both the SAT and ACT, the content and format have many similarities; this makes it easy for you to prepare for both at the same time. Additionally, check out the specific test dates. The SAT can be taken in October, November, and/or December. The ACT has fall test dates in September, October, and December.
- Take practice tests. It’s not a very good idea to see the test for the first time on test day. Luckily, the test-makers have created workbooks filled with full-length sample tests, making it incredibly easy for you to get comfortable with the test content. Not only will you get in some good math and English review, but you will also be able to work on pacing yourself. One of the biggest problems on test-day can be not having enough time to finish a section. In fact, the ACT is a bit faster-paced than other standardized tests. By working through timed practice tests over the summer, you will feel more comfortable with the timing and pace of the tests by the fall. Additionally, by taking practice tests, you will be able to see which subject areas need the most preparation and attention (math, English, science, essay, etc.).
- Understand them. It’s great to take practice tests, but it is essential to go over them after completion. Test books contain answer keys and scoring keys, but after correcting your test, you should work through anything that you answered incorrectly. By going back through the tests and reviewing anything you did not understand, you can really focus on studying the content that you aren’t comfortable with. Each test may pose different questions, but the underlying concepts covered on the tests are consistent. So nail-down those tricky concepts before the fall by going over any missed practice questions. This step may be difficult to do on your own, so don’t be afraid to seek assistance from professionals who thoroughly understand the test and are able to provide you with individualized help and useful test strategies (Sullivan Tutoring!).
You don’t need to spend every minute of your summer prepping for the tests, but by setting aside a little bit of time for prep each week, you will feel more prepared to take-on the SAT and ACT this fall.
Did you receive our June Newsletter?
Check out the solution for the Math Question of the Month: