For the SAT, buy yourself a copy of The Official SAT Study Guide. You can buy it for about $12 and it’s money well spent. The guide contains 10 practice tests and while you may not have the time or intestinal fortitude to complete all 10, the more you do complete, the better off you will be. The key here is to go through and answer all the questions and then go back and figure out the answers to the ones you got wrong. Actually invest the time in figuring out where you went wrong and then work at it until you understand it completely and could arrive at the correct answer the next time.
For the ACT, you can purchase The Real ACT Prep Guide. For about $15 you get 5 practice tests and your goal here is the same with the SAT guide. Use the practice tests to practice your abilities. What do you know and what do you struggle with? If you can identify some weaknesses and then work on them, you will find greater success when you take the real test.
There are also some great online resources. In this case, great also means free! Check out PWN The SAT, Craig Gonzalez Tutoring, the Perfect Score Project, and FreeTestPrep.com. Each one is chock full of tips, drills, resources and strategies you can put to use right away. You just have to be willing to spend the time.
Of course, if you’re like me and standardized testing just isn’t your thing, you should also know that nearly 800 colleges are test-optional. Some don’t use standardized tests at all while others may waive them due to your awesome grades. Either way, be aware of all your options, the resources available to you and use them to your advantage!
If you have any questions about standardized test prep, the SAT or the ACT, please use the comment box below.
You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org – I would love to hear from you!