SAT and ACT Strategy

Designing a Highly Effective SAT and ACT Strategy

There is no single strategy that works for every student, and, unlike large group classes that follow a standard procedure, we can design a plan that works the best for you and your learning style.

Along with your GPA, your score on the SAT or ACT is one of the most important parts of your college application. Many colleges have rubrics established by which they assign composite scores to applicants in order to make initial determinations about whether to deny them without much further consideration or to read on in their application. You should not take these tests lightly because they can be a determining factor for whether or not you are admitted to the school of your choice.

How Going Ivy Can Help

No two students are alike, and understanding how to play up your strengths and improve areas of weakness is vital for developing an effective preparation strategy. Going Ivy has a team of expert tutors and educational counselors who know all the tests. We understand how to help students by assessing their strengths and weaknesses and recommending the right test for them. We also recognize that there is not a single strategy that works for every student, and, unlike large group classes that follow a standard procedure, we can design a plan that works the best for you and your particular learning style.

Developing a Smart Strategy for Your SAT or ACT

The SAT may be a good choice for some people because you may be better able to learn the material that is needed to make improvements on it. The ACT may be a better test for you if you are a great student because it adheres closely to what is taught in school. You won’t know until you practice both tests, and the confidence you feel while taking either exam is an important indicator that shouldn’t be ignored. Developing a smart strategy for these tests will involve figuring out how much time you will need to meet your goals and how to balance your test preparation with your other demands. We can help you to figure out these things as we work with you to get you ready for your test.

Because of the importance of these tests, you should start preparing for them as soon as possible. We recommend that students take practice tests during their sophomore year so that they can understand what taking the tests are like and what areas will require the most work. Taking a practice exam during your sophomore year can give you a better idea of the formats each test uses and what it is like to take a long, standardized test under timed conditions. And, obviously, it gives you more time to practice for the official tests.

Don’t make the mistake of not allowing yourself enough time to adequately prepare for your test. Trying to cram in a bunch of practice exams and study time just a month before your exam is not a good idea. You should instead try to give yourself at least three months for test preparation, spreading prep sessions and practice tests throughout. You might need even more time, depending on what your baseline and goals are. By taking the time to prepare, you can also keep your ACT or SAT preparation from interfering with the remainder of your schedule and classes.

Picking Your Test

The SAT and ACT have different time limits, formats, content and scoring methods. Deciding which test to take will thus be very important for you, and Going Ivy can help with all the background on how the tests are similar and how they are different. The test that you ultimately choose will be up to you, but we recommend that you don’t try to study for both tests. Instead, practice both and make the decision sooner rather than later of which test you will focus your efforts on. Some selective schools also want you to take SAT subject tests. Even if you choose a school that also requires SAT subject exams, you can choose to take the ACT as opposed to the main SAT if you wish.

Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

By taking practice exams for both tests, we can help you to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Your exams should be taken under timed conditions just like the actual tests, which Going Ivy can coordinate for you. When you take your practice exams under similar conditions as the actual tests, you can gain a better understanding of the areas on which you need to work. After you have identified your weaker areas, our tutors can provide you with one-on-one assistance to help you improve.

Goal Setting

Your practice test scores will provide you with a starting point. You can use that to decide which schools are within your reach and which might be just beyond it. This may be helpful for you in narrowing down your target schools for application time. You can also set realistic goals that we can help you work toward reaching with a customized strategy for improvement. By aiming for a score toward the upper end of your school’s range, you can improve your chances of acceptance.

Going Ivy to Make the Difference

Planning and implementing a sound strategy for preparing for the ACT or SAT can make the difference in the score that you receive. By starting early, you can also identify areas in which you need to improve and have the time to work on them. The expert team at Going Ivy can work with you closely to help in your efforts to get the score that you need to make your applications stronger. Call us today to schedule your consultation.



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