UPDATE: The SAT and ACT are changing… this should be no surprise to any of us, but it should affect how we prepare our students for these tests. From what I understand the SAT will be dropping the writing component and introducing a new test in January of 2016. Which makes me wonder if the ACT was getting more popular among students simply because it didn’t have the writing portion. HMMM? Anyway, there are some great ways to prepare your highschooler for these tests.
Preparing your child for college isn’t an easy task. In fact, preparing for the college entrance SAT or ACT test is a feat in and of itself! We are facing that uphill battle right now. My daughter is in eleventh grade, and just took the ACT as a practice run. It definitely opened our eyes to several things. I knew we needed to be preparing in advance, but I didn’t know just how we measured up. Taking the test early is a great help in planning your final college preparations. Here are a few things that we are trying to put into practice, and a few things that we are learning along the way!
1) Begin preparations early. Plan your high school courses to meet your preferred colleges’ requirements. At our house, we are depending on scholarships. In turn, scholarships depend on the ACT / SAT score. So, (no stress) a good test score will really help in this area.
2) Don’t be afraid to take the test several times. Really – seriously – Take it more than once… my oldest took it 4 times. Once her score remained the same, we didn’t take it again. As long as her score was increasing each time she took it – we kept taking it.
3) Begin test prep a year in advance. Begin reviewing ACT SAT vocabulary and essay strategies well in advance. Don’t think that you can prepare for this test a few weeks before you take it!
4) Use a test prep book or an online test prep. I use A Major Tests.com for my tutoring sessions. This site has great vocabulary prep, good practice tests, essay prompts, and even some great strategy tips.
5) Become an avid reader. Readers are learners… the more you read the better you will test.
To be honest, I really don’t agree with how our country bases everything on “test” scores. Yet, to successfully navigate these high school/college waters we have to fit in this box… no matter how tight or disagreeable we find it!