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PLANNING THE MOST EFFECTIVE TEST PREP PATH

The steps to working smarter, not harder.

 

TAKE A DIAGNOSTIC EXAM

Colleges only require one of the SAT or ACT, thus the first goal is to assess, by taking a diagnostic, which path suits you the best.  ​

  • SACT Diagnostic  - A hybrid of both exams, print and take this test to assess your ability on both the SAT and ACT

  • SAT Diagnostic - Print and take this exam if you are only seeking assessment of your ability on the SAT

  • ACT Diagnostic - Print and take this exam if you are only seeking assessment of your ability on the ACT

  • For prompt grading, simply photo and text your bubble sheet to Jim Addeo - 518 727 7105

PLAN YOUR TEST DATES CAREFULLY

  • 2019 - 2020 SAT ACT Test dates and deadlines <<< Click this link for a look at all the possibilities first.

  • Your test score depends on timing.  In what time of year do you have the most 'room on the plate' to donate to test prep and to the stresses of test day?  Consider other commitments such as varsity sports, AP and regents exams, college visits, even events like prom.  

  • Students typically prep for the one to two months leading up their exam.

CONSIDER THE RIGHT NUMBER OF TEST DAY ATTEMPTS

It's generally recommended to make 2 to 3 attempts at either the SAT or the ACT

  • Many colleges super-score which means that they will mix and match your best sections from multiple attempts to create an overall highest possible composite score.

  • Many students need to work out 'the bugs' with their first exam attempt before perfecting their process on a second attempt.

  • Don't overdo it.  You want the process to be finite so you can tend to other important factors of college admission.  It's about taking deliberate shots at your target, not numerous ones.

KNOW THE FACTORS THAT DRIVE YOUR SCORE

Maximizing your score means fulfilling as many of the following factors as possible:

  • Stick to one exam - Alternating between both SAT and ACT prep risks expending more time and diluting your efforts and focus.

  • Be consistent - Build momentum by working every week in the 1 to 2 months prior to test day rather than scattering prep over the year. 

  • Review - Taking a section is only half the battle.  Advancing score lies in the remedies to mistakes and the repetition of those problems.

  • Work in small chunks - An SAT reading passage takes 13 minutes.  Doing just one makes daily practice (and the review) very doable.

  • Work in large chunks - It's also necessary to build endurance and perfect the whole-test process by taking full practice tests, preferably in proximity to the actual exam date.