Those who say you can’t prep for the SAT and ACT are wrong. Empirical evidence proves that scores can jump significantly – several hundred points on the SAT is not unheard of — with effective preparation. In fact, each new word you learn that appears on the SAT, can improve your score by 5-10 points.
Comfort and familiarity are other key factors. Some people are naturally good test takers – they stay calm and perform at a high level during the exam. Even the best test takers can benefit from practice, preparation and mastering test-taking strategies. Preparation for the SAT and ACT can significantly improve your scores – and your college options.
More than half of the SAT tests your vocabulary (e.g. your understanding of words, reading comprehension and writing ability) in some manner. Therefore, there is no better way to boost your SAT scores than to improve your vocabulary. Since certain words appear on the SAT more frequently than others, focus on improving your SAT vocabulary and by engaging with challenging reading.
The other key area of the SAT tests your math skills – Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra I & II. The key here is familiarity and confidence along with quick and accurate execution. This requires refreshment and practice – especially for advanced math students taking courses beyond Algebra II who aren’t solving SAT-type problems on a regular basis.
The ACT covers additional areas – Trigonometry and Science. Again, the key is familiarity along with quick and accurate execution. This requires refreshment and practice – especially for advanced math students taking courses beyond what is tested.
Increasing your score significantly usually requires a significant effort. If you are willing to invest the time and effort, it will most likely pay a handsome dividend into terms of improving your options for the future.
Lynn Radlauer Lubell, Publisher of InLikeMe.com and Founder of Admission By Design, an Educational Consultancy based in Boca Raton, Florida.