The 2013-2014 school year is behind us and final grades are being calculated across the nation. While the new 2014 schedule for standardized tests has not yet been finalized, students and parents throughout the world are brainstorming different ways of squeezing in some test prep time over the summer.
Summer is the perfect time to make test prep a part of your daily habit! Throughout the summer students should feel relaxed and are less consumed by class schedules, social protocol, and extra curricular activities. The summer presents less competition for time and more willingness to spend it!
Both students and their parents who are serious about college applications and scholarship opportunities should take advantage of the summer before Junior or Senior year of high school. Summer test prep allows parents and students to work test prep into their schedule virtually unnoticed. By starting early and working throughout summer, test prep will already be a solid habit set in time for the start of a new school year.
We suggest that all SAT and ACT students give themselves at least 12 weeks to prepare! Other than a student’s overall academic record and high school resume, SAT and/or ACT test scores are the only factors standing between you and the college of your dreams. Strong test scores alone can increase the chances of getting into the college of your choice and open doors to full ride or partial scholarship opportunities.
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10 Tips for Summer SAT and/or ACT Test Prep
- Get in the habit. Students should study in increments throughout each day to help make test prep an easy part of every day life. Make studying a daily habit just like checking your email or scrolling through Facebook. Bookmark your favorite online test prep tools for instant on-the-go testing. Before you fall asleep or while you wait in line, go through 10 or 20 vocabulary flashcards or participate in SAT Preparation Group’s daily test prep challenges on Facebook or Google+.
- Make a schedule. Making test prep a daily habit will help you retain more information, keep your mind engaged, and start to recognize the use of important test prep concepts in every day life. However, spending just a few minutes each day is not enough to get the score you need for top colleges and universities throughout the United States. Create a schedule that will allow you 1-2 hours of test prep at least twice a week, time to take a practice test at least once a week, and two 20-minute sessions three times per week for test prep review.
- Start with a practice test. However short or long, choose a practice test that displays a variety of question types. When you finish the test, don’t just consider the grade as a reflection on how well you did. Go through each question again. See which questions you answered easily, which questions you may have made careless mistakes on, and which questions you had wrong. Color code each question and sort them into easy, medium, and hard questions.
- Start with the big stuff. Twice a week, dedicate 1-2 hours to practicing questions that are hard for you.
- Review the easy stuff. Each time you take a practice test, more and more questions will seem easy to you. As you begin to collect these questions you answer right, without fail, work these easier questions into your daily review habit. Spend 20 minutes, twice per day reviewing each questions. Do easy question reviews at least three days per week.
- Study the right way by studying the right answers. For harder questions that easily stump you, study review sheets and answer sheets. Look at the work that is shown. Study the explanation until you understand it. If you have questions, be sure to ask someone.
- Utilize a test prep tutor and student success coach. Our test prep tutors and student success coaches are here to help students throughout the world with online or in-home test prep. A student success coach can help students improve test-taking techniques and gain score-boosting skills.
- Make a choice. Almost every four-year college throughout the United States accepts scores for both the SAT and the ACT. This means you can focus your efforts on just one test. However, know which test is going to be the best for you and why. We have several videos and blogs to help you decide on whether to take the ACT or SAT is best for you located on our FAQs page here.
- Set your goal. Every goal is attainable and has an end in mind. Set a goal for what kind of test score you want or need to get into the college of your choices. Then, review SAT and ACT testing dates as soon as they are posted. Choose two testing dates. The first date will be the first time (or next time) you take the test. This is where you’re going to do your best. Whether you fall short or score exactly what you want, the second test date is there to take the time to do even better now that you know what to expect on the test.
- Repeat “it’s never too early to start preparing.” These are two tests that cannot be crammed for. And if you still feel like you need more advice. Check out our Free SAT Study Guide: How to Crush the SAT in 3 Easy Steps for helpful tools and information on how to prepare for the SAT in advance.
What do you feel is the most helpful tool above? Let us know in the comments below or join in the conversation on Twitter #SATPG
SAT Preparation Group advises in test prep, college planning, and success strategies for teens. Call Us Today at 877-672-8773 or click here for a free consultation.