Seven Tips for the ACT and SAT

1. Learn in advance

For you to be successful on any standardized test, like the ACT or SAT, you need to learn the formulas that will most likely show up on the test. Methods such as the Pythagorean theorem or the equations for Tan or Sin. It would be the most beneficial and useful if you either made flashcards or if you practiced online and watched videos on Khan Academy. This doesn’t just apply to math and science, but also social studies and English.

2. Practice test taking

Practice makes perfect. It might be stressful and exhausting at times. Still, for you to do well on college entrance exams, you got to apply yourself and to study like you have never studied before, even if it means printing out a bunch of practice tests for each section and testing yourself on what you need to improve on. Plus, once you have mastered the art of test-taking, then you will most likely be a pro at any test you take form later on.

3. Be prepared and organized

You should always have some type of planner in front of you so that you could schedule and plan for your tests. Have some utensils around you, such as pens, pencils, and highlighters. You should use highlighters to highlight specific areas in your test sections that need work and use pens to take notes of techniques that you learned to improve your testing skills or just circle mistakes that you could fix.

4. Start questions that are easiest for you

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The best technique when trying to complete a timed test is to start on the questions or problems that are easiest to complete or solve. It’s the most efficient way because even if you feel like you’re running out of time on the test, you could just guess on the ones you don’t know. At least you would know that you knew a majority of it and feel confident about the ones you put the work into.

5. Plan your essay

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For these ACT and SATs, there is usually some type of essay portion to it. Before you start to write your essay, outline it first. In that outline, try to include at least three points of evidence to back up your claim, have a thesis statement, and a conclusion. Once you have a clear and concise outline, your essay should be able to flow well through each paragraph and being very assertive when supporting your claim. Always have one subject in each section and make sure it has a logical flow.

6. Manage your anxiety

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Since test-taking can be a stressful thing to deal with, you should try to take some breaks in between your studying time. Maybe get a cup of tea or coffee or sit outside and take in the sunlight and fresh air. If taking all of these practice tests to mess up your mental health, you might as well try to do what you got to do for your anxiety level to go down.

7. Don’t pay too much attention to the detail

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For many people, we sometimes tend to be perfectionists. We sometimes are just narrow-minded instead of someone who looks at the bigger picture. Well, that goes the same for studying and for taking tests. Occasionally, we have this huge goal in our head of getting this specific grade or getting into this elite program. So, we study hard, practice hard, and work ourselves to death because we think that by doing that, we will reach those goals that seem impossible. The fact is that we don’t need to pay attention to every single tiny mistake we make or try to make our scores or our talents perfect. All we need to do is to practice a little bit each day in small sections to keep it short and sweet.