Don’t Make these ACT/SAT Test Prep Mistakes
For most students, studying for either the ACT or SAT SHOULD be a few months commitment. If you are planning to take the test in the fall, you should begin test prep in the summer! ACT and/or SAT Test Prep should begin at least three months before you plan on taking the test.
If three months sounds like a loooonnnnngggggg test prep time, that’s because it is but it is also the quality of the time you spend studying, NOT just the amount. As you start your journey with ACT and/or SAT Test Prep, it is crucial you know the right way to study for the ACT and SAT. Every student thinks that they know the proper way to study but prepping for the college entrance exam (such as the ACT and SAT) definitely has some do’s and do-nots. Why not maximize your performance with the following suggestions?
1) 3 Months is the Magic Number
Start studying 3 months before the test date if you are going to study on your own or with a private tutor. If you want to do well on the test this is really the minimum amount of time you will need to prepare. If you delay getting started on studying, you may not have time to review all of the content on the ACT or SAT. If you procrastinate you could end up with last minute cram sessions which could definitely harm your test performance. Set up a regular study schedule three months before the ACT or SAT test date and stick to it.
2) Spending Too Much Time on the Wrong Topics
The key to successful ACT and SAT test prep is efficiency. Too often, students fall into the trap of spending a great deal of time on subjects they already understand and too little time on the subjects that they don’t have a good grasp with.
It is natural to want to study the areas you do well in as it is easier but this can negatively affect your performance on exam day. Shift instead to spending the majority of your time on the problem areas that you have or struggle with. You could cover the easy topics early on and be done with them as they can also serve to build upon the more complex topics.
3) Failing to Take Practice Tests
Just reading through your class notes or tutoring notes regarding the ACT and SAT is NOT the best way to study. These exams use specific formats and it is very important to become familiar with the structure and formatting of the questions.
Neglecting to practice answering ACT or SAT questions may cause you to struggle on your test date. The timing is very strict and students can run out of time which will only raise your anxiety levels. You can keep track of your performance on practice tests and use these results to come up with a plan to what you should be focusing your time studying.
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