Student Participating in Test Prep

ACT & SAT Test Prep Tips:

In the world of college application materials, standardized test scores are viewed differently by various universities. Many colleges and universities require that applicants include their standardized test scores with their application. On the other hand, a growing number of colleges and universities are “test-optional”, meaning that applicants have the choice of whether or not they submit their standardized test scores. Examples of this include Wake Forest University, Hampton University, George Washington University, and many others. 

With that being said, including strong ACT and/or SAT scores as a supplemental material is something that can help enhance your application. Below are a few ACT and SAT prep tips that our LAUNCH Scholars learned during the November 2020 Saturday Summit and that you can use to help you prepare for test day:


Notebook and Pencils

Take Practice Tests the Right Way

When it comes to studying for the ACT and SAT, there is one technique that everyone agrees on: take several practice tests before taking the real test.

  • Take a practice test to determine your baseline and what you need to study.
  • Take practice tests routinely.
  • Treat your practice tests like the real thing and time yourself.

Study Break:

Take your practice tests at the same time of day you’ll be taking the SAT or ACT. This strategy will help to create a feeling of confidence on test day because you’ll be adjusted to testing at that time.

Student Studying

Know the Test Structure

One easy test prep tip that can help curve any test anxiety is to know the test structure. It’s important to know what is on the test you’re taking and the order in which you’ll complete each section of the test. Knowing the test structure will help you to map out the test and know what to expect.

Study Break:

Did you know the SAT provides you with a reference sheet for formulas you may need to know for the math section, but the ACT doesn’t?

Student Studying

Incorporate Test Prep Into Your Daily Homework Routine

Once you’ve established your baseline and determined what areas you need to prioritize in your practice, you can devise a study plan and incorporate it into your homework routine.

  • Try to add at least 30 minutes of daily test prep on weekdays.
  • Schedule enough time to sit down and take a complete practice test in one sitting at least once a month.
  • Set aside at least 30 minutes a day to read. 

Study Break:

*The College Board – suggested readings

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