Prepping For The ACT And SAT: Four Things To Know

Posted on: 8 August 2017


Preparing to take the ACT or SAT can be stressful for a teenager. The tests can help to determine your child's potential choice of college, and you want to make sure he or she has the right tools to succeed on these exams. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help your child do well. Here are a few things to consider as your child gears up for the test-taking season:

Sign Up For Practice Tests

The PSAT and the Pre-ACT give your student a chance to practice taking his or her college entrance exams, and they also provide a way to practice time management while taking the real tests. An official PSAT is typically given at your child's school on a specific date, while the Pre-ACT offers some online testing opportunities. If your child will be taking both official tests, it's a good idea to run through the practice options when they are available. Remember that the scores on these tests do not go on the official college transcript, so don't be discouraged if your child doesn't score well. Instead, look at the performance on each section of the test to help focus studying for the actual exams.

Hire A Tutor

ACT and SAT tutors can provide lots of insight into how to take the exams. Your child's tutor can help with time management during the exams, understanding the different types of questions, and learning how to make the best guess when the correct answer isn't obvious. Look for a math tutor who has scored well on the exams, as this can be a good indicator of his or her knowledge of the testing process.

Set A Practice Schedule

Your child should study and practice for the test regularly in the months leading up to each exam. This study time should be in addition to any tutoring time you have scheduled. Consider coming up with a study and practice schedule for the weekends so it doesn't get in the way of school night homework. Have your child practice the SAT essay questions and writing out solutions to the math problems. You can purchase test practice books to help with studying for the test.

Get Your Child On A Regular Sleep Schedule

You'll want your child to have plenty of rest on test day, so consider taking the days or weeks ahead of the tests as a chance to regulate his or her sleeping schedule. Going to bed early and getting a solid night's sleep before the test can be crucial for success, as your teen won't likely be too tired to concentrate.

Talk to your child's high school guidance counselor for study materials, test dates, and other helpful information to help your child succeed.