I recently learned that even talking about SAT or ACT can create a tidal wave of feelings. My daughter cried when she spoke to her school counselor about taking the test during a meeting. More tears were shed after her first test result showed that she had a lot to learn before the next exam session. She was calm and determined when she asked for a tutor to help her get the prep work under control. Finally, she was happy and proud when she submitted the final grades to the schools of her choice.
We know that standardized tests can play a crucial role in helping your child get through the college / university admissions process and providing them with the income support. I can’t promise that it won’t be an emotional journey for your teenager either can Courtesy of Emily Levitt, Vice President of Education at Sylvan Learning, give your student 5 great tips to help them prepare for these important exams.
1. Do both tests early.
Every school in the United States accepts either SAT or ACT results. So the choice of test to test is based on the format your teenager prefers – and on which he or she does better. However, your teenager will often only find out when he takes both. For this reason, it is advisable to start the process, e.g. B. in the fall of the junior year to sit for each of them.
Levitt says: “If there is a clear gap between the overall scores in the first two tests, a student should plan to repeat the one that scored higher. If they cut relatively evenly, they can choose the format they prefer. “
2. Understand the difference between SAT and ACT.
While the exams cover essentially the same skills, there are some key differences. ACT has its own science department, while SAT involves science in some of its other issues.
“The ACT has less time for each question and has four or five options per question, while the SAT has four, which gives students a slightly better chance of guessing the SAT,” says Levitt.
Also note that the SAT has two math sections, one of which must be completed without a calculator. New this year: As of September 2020 ACT, students can only repeat the sections they want to improve after completing a full test battery.
3. Take the selected test two or three times.
Most students will want to take the test as an “exercise” once, a second time after a concerted study, and possibly a third time if they believe better preparation will give them enough points to reach a scholarship goal or closer to it come to the median at a college / university they aspire to. If your junior made it in the fall, it’s probably a good idea to retest it in the spring and retest it if necessary in the fall of last year.
“Learning also has some advantages in summer when there is less academic pressure and distractions outside of the curriculum than during the school year,” says Levitt.
4. Take the essay serving at least once.
It’s optional, but since most kids sign out, it shows that you really bother to write it. Levitt says, “The best way to make your play stand out is to let your own voice shine through and make the play enjoyable to read.”
5. Help your student prepare.
Talk to your teenager about their concerns before you start testing.
“Sometimes it’s content-based, which means that you should look for additional practice in a prep book or workshop to improve certain skills,” Levitt says. “But sometimes they need test strategies because they’re not sure how to decipher different types of questions, or they’re not sure if skipped questions count against them.”
She advises starting the preparation for 8-10 weeks and doing many practice tests. Learn in small blocks of time instead of stuffing yourself like crazy. Sleep well before the test, have a good breakfast, and take a deep breath.
Levitt’s final advice is, “Tell your students to do their best, but don’t fret that their future depends on it. School admissions departments look at the entire student, not just the test results.”
Find out more about Sylvan’s test preparation strategies, tailored to your students’ individual needs.
Seattleite Nancy Schatz Alton is an author, teacher, poet and frequent Contributor in Your teen magazine at the www.IhreTeenMag.com,
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