Prepping for the SATs and ACTs

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Isn’t it crazy how a set of 3 letters can make one weak in the knees, have hot flashes, and suffer a sense of impending doom? The SATs and the ACTs may be daunting tests for high schoolers, but it surely doesn’t have to be. We have put together a list of tips on how to prepare for these tests so your high school student can rid themselves of any lingering panic.

1. Prepare for both tests

The SAT and ACT used to have a number of differences, leading students to lean towards one more than the other. As the tests have evolved over the years, they have turned out to be quite similar. Since students won’t know which test they would do better in until they take it, they should consider taking both to increase their options. The test that they achieve a higher score in would be the one they report on their college applications.

2. Practice makes perfect!

These tests require practice if your student wants to give it their maximum effort. By taking practice tests, your student can become accustomed to the allotted time and also familiarize themselves with the tests’ format. Many schools offer the PSAT, but if they don’t, practice tests can be found online. For the ACT, a full-length practice test can be found on their website at With these practice tests, your student can walk into the real exam knowing what to expect.

3. Take a prep class

Some students can excel by studying alone, but others may fare better in a prep class where they have direct access to guidance and support. In Tutoring Club’s SAT and ACT prep courses, we go through all of the subjects that will be on the test, work on strengthening any weak spots, and help them with their essay writing skills. When they are ready, our students take practice tests, which come free with the course enrollment!

4. Create a study schedule

Choose a test date that will allow your student sufficient time to take the tests and retake as needed. Once your student has their date, they should set up a study schedule to stay on track. By developing a consistent schedule, your student can stay on top of their progress and also prevent burnout.

5. Set a score goal

By having your student set their desired score goal, they will know what they have to work towards, especially if they are applying for highly competitive schools. Once they have the target in mind, they can aim to reach it during practice tests until they yield the score they want. If your student’s score is falling short, it’s okay! Determine which part of the test your student is struggling with and work on improving those problem areas. Once they get the hang of those portions, your student will do much better on the real test.