Standardized testing season, for Juniors especially, is upon us! Let's work together to make sure that you are well prepared.
The SAT and the ACT are the standardized tests used by institutions to decide on students being admitted. Though they serve the same purpose, there are some differences worth considering before signing up. One of the most noteworthy differences is that the SAT allows more time per question. This makes it a great option for those who need more time for comprehension of questions. The ACT is best suited for students with reading and writing comprehension skills since it has more reading questions and less time per question. Noteworthy similarities are the times that they should be taken, the spring of students junior (11th) year. This will time for students to retake their test if need be and/or to have enough time to submit their results to their selected institutions.
It is important to mention that more institutions are moving towards being test-optional. What does this mean? It means that students are not required to send in their SAT and /or ACT scores to institutions with this policy. However, it does not mean that the scores are no longer important. Institutions will take a harder look at the other information submitted to the admissions board (extracurricular actives, recommendations, essays, and academic profile). So students should make sure that this information is a reflection of the type of student they would like to present themselves as. The test-optional alternative could give some the impression that they no longer have to take the ACT or the SAT, but These tests could be beneficial for those with above-average scores as they would speak positively on the student.
Admissions into institutions will remain competitive so for those who take the SAT and/or the ACT, here are some helpful tips:
1. Before taking the test one should practice pacing. While preparing students should take a practice exam with the same time constraints so they are prepared to spend a certain amount of time on each question. This will help students to answer all the questions on their exams.
2. Students should be skilled in answer elimination. They should be able to read through the options provided and know which ones are not correct. This will make finding the real answer easier.
3. Selective reading is another skill students should have before they take their exams. Being able to only read relevant information will save time for exams.
All of these skills should be practiced while students study for their exams. Considering that the best time to take these exams is the spring of the junior year, Students should begin studying and perfecting these skills ASAP. The length and the depth of studying should increase the closer one gets to their junior year. This will ensure that the students are properly prepared for not only standardized tests but the quizzes and exams they take on a regular basis at school.