Preparing for the SAT and ACT

Colleges and Universities all across the U.S require the scores of either or both the SAT and the ACT test. These tests pose many questions in students minds: What test should I take? How do I prepare? What are colleges looking for?

The SAT and ACT test two different things. The SAT evaluates potential by testing students on three different subjects: reading, writing, and math. It is expected that there will be some upcoming changes made to the SAT including the removal of the guessing penalty that removes one fourth of a point for every question answered incorrectly as well as making the essay optional. The ACT is looking at what students know and how they use that knowledge. The ACT tests english, reading, math and science with an optional writing section. What test you take largely depends on the college or university you would like to attend. Different schools have different admission requirements that might ask for one or both test scores.

Depending on who is asked, one might be advised to take both tests instead of one, or one instead of both. Guidance counselor Jennifer Schlosser advises that students take both tests and see if one score is better than the other, but more often she is seeing that, “Whatever you are going to do on the SAT you’re going to do on the ACT even though they say they are looking at different things.”

The best way to get ready for either test is good ol’ fashioned practice. Paying attention in class and keeping up with homework is definitely important. However, Pathways teacher Charlene Ames believes,“The best way to prepare is to take the test.” The SAT and ACT are both timed tests, and taking timed practice tests will help prepare students for those restrictions.

The most important thing to remember about the SAT and ACT is to prepare yourself to take it. These tests are not the end of the world, but it does matter how you approach them. Along with good prep a good sleep is also necessary. When it is time to test, it is important to be well rested and fed.

By Hannah Hart

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