How to Take a Practice SAT or ACT Test
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Shravya Kakulamarri in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
- Watch the Clock
- Simulate the Testing Environment
- Review Your Mistakes
- How Does Your ACT/SAT Score Impact Your College Chances?
Studying for the SAT or the ACT is a daunting task. You might think the easiest approach is signing up for a prep course. However, this might not be necessary nor the best use of your time and resources. Read the rest of this post to figure out why people self-study and learn if it’s the right approach for you.
Taking a full SAT or ACT practice test is one of the best ways to prepare for the real thing. This post will share tips for how to get the most out of your practice test.
Even during practice exams, you can’t afford to linger over questions or take breaks to text your friends. Remember to make the experience as close to the real thing as possible. Sticking to the actual testing times will allow you to have a much better idea of your true scoring ability. Also, sticking to the timetable will ensure you won’t encounter any surprises on test day.
Students will sometimes feel intimidated when sitting down to take the real SAT because they aren’t in their own home. So, if you want to feel more comfortable on your actual testing day, try to mimic testing conditions by taking practice tests in a classroom, or studying in the library rather than your bed.
You can also go beyond stimulating the testing environment by replicating your morning routine the day of the test. For example, waking up early to take the practice exam, taking a shower, and eating the breakfast and snacks you plan to eat on test day. This might not be necessary for you, but if you feel it might relax you then why not give it a try!
If you want to improve your performance, you should spend time reviewing both the questions you got wrong, and the ones you answered correctly. Even the ones you got correct could have been lucky guesses, so you want to be sure you understand why the answer is the right one. This is something students often miss because if the question were slightly different you might have missed it if you aren’t 100% comfortable with the content.
Another reason to review what you got correct is to figure out where your strengths are. This is important because you don’t want to waste time studying subjects that you’re already good at.
These three tips are reminders to take your studying seriously and to study smarter – not harder!
We’ve made it easy to understand the impact of your ACT or SAT score by creating a free Admissions Chances Calculator. You can input different scores and see how this would affect your chances of admission. This calculator will also let you know how your score stacks up against other applicants’, and give you tips on improving the rest of your profile, including grades and extracurriculars.
This tool will help you figure out what your goal score needs to be to have a competitive application for your dream school. Give it a try to get a jumpstart on your college strategy!