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ACT/SAT - February 16th 2009, 10:23 PM

Okay, sorry I couldn't really search beyond going through the threads in the school and careers forum because SAT and ACT are too short to be searched for...

Anyway. I'm taking the SAT in March, and the ACT in April. I'm freaking out. I NEED good scores on this to get into college.

How did you study for them?
If you live in like the UK or something, I don't know if there is a test similar? I don't know if the GCSE's (?) are like it or totally different?

Anyway! Tell me how to study, I have an ACT book, but don't know where to go from there =/



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Re: ACT/SAT - February 16th 2009, 10:24 PM

Well - I didn't study too too much (not as much as I'd liked to...didn't do any practice exams) basically, dissect each section of the test.
Get the CollegeBoard's Official Guide to the SAT and Barron's for any additional support. It's what I would do. Don't blindly take practice tests. Go over your errors meticulously.


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Re: ACT/SAT - February 16th 2009, 10:34 PM

1. Take lots of practice tests in a test like setting. No potty breaks, no music, no answer checking in the middle of the test. Ideally, you should be sitting in a cold hard chair with buzzing florescent lights and the tick tick tick of the abominable clock. Does your school give practice tests? Mine does. If it doesn't, have your friends administer it to you or something.

2. Like Olivia (ergg) said (and she would post on a thread like this ) get the CollegeBoard's Official Guide to the SAT and Barrons. CB is as close as you can get, Barrons should be a little harder. Take all the tests from this. Or as many as you can.

3. Carefully mark not just the answers you don't know on your answer sheet as you take the test, but also the ones you are iffy about. Go over ALL the ones you got wrong AND the iffy ones even if you got them right.. just so you know what you did.

4. This is a long term one: READ. Read articles and fiction and poems. This is a very good way to become literate.. and the SAT wants you to be literate.

5. There's a forum FULL of people in your boat, taking the SAT and the ACT. They're a little nuts at the forum, but it's more information at your disposal. I used CC when I was taking tests.

6. Lots of practice will yeild better results.

But keep in mind that the SAT and the ACT are.. really just testing your ability to take the SAT and the ACT. Colleges and Universities will expect you to score in an acceptable range, but they will not think better or worse of you depending on your specific score because the tests have been proven using psychology testing to be invalid tests of achievement (ACT) and aptitude (SAT)


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Re: ACT/SAT - February 17th 2009, 11:34 AM

You should check if your high school offers an ACT/SAT prep class. That's the only thing I did to study for these things and I think I did pretty well on both of them. Also, don't stress out about it or you will ultimately not do well. Go and pee before you go test so you're not thinking about it. Utilize the water and snack breaks!(!!) But yeah, most important is not to freak out about it. Breathe. Be a good test taker. Have a lucky day. =P Hope you do well!



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Re: ACT/SAT - February 17th 2009, 12:18 PM

Learn how to guess, and no, I'm not kidding. You're typically given four answer per each multiple choice. The more you can narrow it down, the better. Also, familiarize yourself with how each test presents their questions.

Don't worry about the writing portion. They give you a topic, you pick a side, and that's that. It's easy.

Don't forget that you can retake it, so don't freak out too much. Most end up retaking one or the other at least once, especially since most colleges only require one.
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Re: ACT/SAT - February 17th 2009, 11:28 PM

Hi Maria,

I will be taking the ACT for the first time in April as well!

Test scores are an important part of college admission in general, but it is only a small part of your overall transcript. Your grades, extracurricular activities, etc. are weighed heavily by admissions officers. Of course you should try your best on both tests no matter what, but just understand that there is a lot more to college admissions than having scores of 2400 or 36.

As for prep, right now, I am using the Princeton Review: Cracking the ACT book and probably will get the Real ACT book a.k.a the red book (it is made by the company that distributes the ACT and it is basically practice tests with tips). I really like the PR book because it offers a lot of good advice on how to take on the ACT and it is written in a humorous, easy to understand way.

Ultimately, the best way you can prepare is to take many practice tests. In the case of the ACT, remember to time yourself as you get less time to answer questions than on the SAT. You need to get a good feel for the test and see where your strengths/weaknesses exist. Best of luck! If you have any more questions, feel free to post them here or PM me.


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