It is ACT and SAT test prep season! With the cold winter weather and impending spring-like days, we have visions of high school students cramming for the ACT or SAT immediately after finishing their mid-term exams. If you’ve enrolled your child in college test prep tutoring or a program, you likely are also practicing at home. Or if you’ll be leading the way with only at-home test prep, we have a few tips to steer you in the right direction. With these five ACT and SAT test prep tips, along with good study materials, you’ll be on the right path to a lower stress, higher score testing day.
1. Don’t Cram
Long-term practice in short sessions to sustain motivation and create a strong base of knowledge is the best way to make test day less stressful and earn the higher score. To achieve this, start months ahead of your scheduled test day and make a test prep schedule that fits your child’s learning style and stamina. For shorter attention spans try 10-15 minutes a day, every day. For well-focused children choose the three or four days a week that work best and schedule longer study and practice sessions.
2. Practice Test Taking
While studying concepts, working out math problems, and learning new vocabulary is vital, it is crucial to practice test taking itself. This will build test-taking skills, ease pressure on test day, and familiarize your student with the format of the college entrance exams.
3. Practice Under Test-Day Conditions
When practicing for the ACT or SAT, whether it is a practice test, math, or vocabulary – be sure to practice under test-day conditions. Turn off televisions, music, phones, and other distractions. Create a quiet, comfortable environment. Have your student sit up at a desk or table. Set a timer, and see how they do. By recreating the test-day scenario, you prepare your child to be relaxed and comfortable on test day.
4. Build Vocabulary
The long-term building of vocabulary is a crucial component of ACT and SAT success. It is vital to not simply memorize long lists of vocabulary, but constantly and consistently learn new words, on a daily basis for months ahead of the test day. A common way to make this happen is by employing a “word-of-the-day” program.
5. Utilize Online and Digital Resources
Keeping your high schooler motivated and interested is an important part of successful ACT and SAT test prep. Be encouraging and supportive, but also keep the studying interested. Capitalize on the variety of quality online resources, applications, videos, and tools to keep college test prep as engaging as possible.
Don’t Rule Out Test Prep Tutoring
At-home studying and practice with the right test guides can be sufficient for self-motivated students with a good plan in place. For some students, motivation can be a struggle. If studying at home is not working for your test-taker, consider test prep tutoring as an option. The benefits of a one-on-one tutor for test prep includes but is not limited to, built-in accountability, encouragement, custom test-taking strategy, additional focus on challenging areas, emotional support, and long-term practice for test-day success. If you’re interested in local, affordable test prep tutoring, call or contact Lake Norman Tutoring today. 704-845-0561 We look forward to working with you.