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10 Ways to Exceed Your SAT and ACT Test Goals

10 Ways to Exceed Your SAT and ACT Test Goals

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Did you know that 1.65 million high school students took the SAT in the year 2011? The SAT and ACT test is a big deal when it comes to college admissions and getting to attend the school of your dreams. It is stressful worrying about getting the right score in order to get into college at your dream school.

Taking the practice tests will help as well as getting a good night of sleep before taking the test, but there are a bunch of other things you can do in order to exceed your test score goals for the SAT and ACT test. Using different study methods helps as does setting goals for yourself.

If you’re not sure where to start with your study strategies then you’re in the perfect place. Continue reading this article to learn about ten great ways to help you exceed SAT and ACT test scores the next time that you take these tests.


1.Find Out if You Can Take the Test For Free

It should come as no surprise that college isn’t cheap. What might surprise you is that the costs that it takes to attend college start before you ever get accepted into a university. The ACT and SAT tests both have a fee that you’re required to pay in order to take these tests. Both have a fee of around $50, which isn’t terrible but is more than some students can afford.

This is especially true if you plan to take these tests more than one time in order to get the best score possible. The good news is that there are waivers that you can apply for that would allow you to take these tests. Check your state’s rules, as some states will cover the cost of the fee to take the SAT or ACT if you attend a public school.

Some students might even receive two fee waivers that allow the student to take these tests two times for free. Be sure to check with your guidance counselor about getting the fee waived for the SAT and ACT test.

2.Choose Between the SAT and ACT Test

While it isn’t the worst idea to take both of these tests, you might get a better score if you opt to focus on one over the other. These two tests are quite similar though there are some noticeable differences that you should be aware of. One big difference is that the SAT doesn’t have a science section while the ACT does.

If science is important to your future career or something that you’re gifted at then you should consider taking the ACT rather than the SAT. A good idea to take is to try a practice exam of both test types. You should then focus on the type of exam that you scored better on and study for it.

3.Set Score Goals Early

Another important thing that you should do if you want to exceed your test goals is to set those goals early. Start setting goals for your SAT and ACT test scores as a high school junior. This gives you plenty of time to learn and study while focusing on staying on track to meet your goals.

A good approach to take is to choose a test date during the Autumn of your junior year. This gives you time to consider other academic goals and commitments. Consider using your winter break to study for the ACT and SAT tests since you’ll have more free time to really focus on your study methods.

4.Take the Tests Early

The earlier in the school year that you opt to take the SAT and ACT tests, the better off you’ll be. Taking the tests early gives you plenty of time to schedule another testing session if you’re not pleased with your previous scores. This means that you’ll have extra time to study and retake the test as much as you need in order to get the score you need for college admissions.

Some colleges and universities are moving away from using the ACT and SAT, but taking it will still provide you valuable knowledge on where you stand academically and your odds of getting accepted by the universities you want to attend.

5.Understand How Your Target Universities Value Test Scores

More and more universities are moving forward with accepting students without test scores due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing that you need to do when looking at universities to attend is looking at how they value test scores when it comes to if you get into college there.

Some schools are now test-optional. This means that you’re not required to take the SAT or ACT tests in order to gain entry into their university but if you do your test scores will still get considered. Other schools are test-blind which means they won’t consider your ACT or SAT scores at all when deciding to accept your application.

6.Work With Your Parents

Don’t neglect the help that your parents can offer you when it comes to helping with studying for your exams. Parents are a great support system and also provide some necessary positivity along the way when you’re studying to get into college. With that being said, don’t let your parents take over the process of getting ready for these exams.

It is natural to want to help, but make sure that you set boundaries with your parents when it comes to your test preparation.

7.Choose the Best Test Prep Course

There are tons of different test preparation courses on the market today so it is important to know what they have to offer and which is the best fit for you. These classes vary based on class size as well as studying strategies and teaching methods. You can also choose between in-person classes or virtual classes. It all comes down to what you’re comfortable with.

Think about what your ideal learning environment is. Especially if you haven’t enjoyed virtual learning in the past, you should consider taking a prep course that is in-person. You should also determine if you want to pay money for the course or if you’d prefer to use free options to meet your academic goals.

8.Check Out Other Resources for Test Prep

Prep classes are a great way to help you prepare for taking the SAT and ACT test, but they’re not the only route available to you. There are other resources at your disposal that you should consider using. The best part is that most of these resources cost much less money than taking a test preparation course.

Most libraries have a good amount of test preparation materials on hand that you should use in order to study. You also shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help from your teachers when it comes to areas of the tests that you’re worried about or struggling with. They can provide valuable feedback and practice.

Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers about the test content that they should focus the most on. You should also ask about areas of the test to study for that haven’t been taught or talked about in class yet. This will help you make sure that you’re prepared for whatever comes your way.

9.Ask Your Friends

It is possible that many of your friends and classmates have already taken the SAT and ACT tests. If that is the case, don’t be afraid to pick their brains for more information and insight into what to expect. They have firsthand experience and knowledge of the test and what it entails.

They can give you a clearer picture of what they found easy about the test and the areas in which they struggled. This will help you know where to invest more time when it comes to your studying methods.

10.Take Time Into Consideration

Getting the right answers when you take the SAT and ACT tests is important but you also need to remember that there is a time limit for these tests. It is important when you take practice tests that you work on getting the right answers in a short amount of time. Time is of the essence so do your best to stay focused and on task.

Any questions that you leave unanswered will come back to haunt you since they’ll be marked as wrong and they’ll count against your final score. Make sure that you focus on putting the best answers possible together within the allotted time frame.

A good rule of thumb is to spend no more than one minute on each math problem. You should also save time by skimming the reading sections rather than reading them in a thorough manner. Looking for context can be just as helpful but take less than half of the time.

Now You’re Ready for Your SAT and ACT Test

Taking the SAT and ACT test has been a major part of the college admissions process for decades. It is a big factor in helping you get into college where you want to go and meet your college expectations. Be sure to use your friends as a resource to learn more about the test and don’t be afraid to ask your parents and teachers for help with preparation.

For more helpful articles, check out more of our blog today.

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