You can procrastinate no longer, Juniors. If you haven’t already starting to think about ACT and SAT prep, it’s time. We recommend that all juniors take the test at least once in the spring of their junior year, and that they spend two to four months preparing for said test. If you’re running out of time in your junior year, don’t worry! We’re not throwing you into the deep end just yet. Our goal is to ease you into the realm of college admissions tests by talking about goal-setting.
Set Up a Study Plan
Wouldn’t you know it? PowerScore has a 12-Week Study Plan to whip you into shape for the SAT. We think of everything, don’t we? This plan is written for students who are studying with The Official SAT Study Guide, but it can be supplemented with other test prep books, such as the ACT & SAT Reading Bible. If you’re taking the ACT, you can also utilize our ACT Free Help Area to guide you through your prep.
Determine If You Need Help
Only you can determine whether you need professional help to prepare for either test. If you haven’t already taken an official ACT or SAT, print the free practiceACT and/or free practice SAT. Take the test under timed conditions, and then score it using the guide at the end of the test. Compare your score to the average scores of the freshmen class at your prospective college (you can find this information on the college’s website). If you’re in the target range, independent study is a good way to prep for the test. But if you fall short of the average acceptance scores, consider adding a course or a tutor to your routine.
Learn Vocabulary Words
Aim to learn a minimum of 500 vocabulary words. No matter what the College Board or your guidance counselor says, vocabulary is vital to your score on both tests. It’s important, however, to study words that frequently occur on the ACT & SAT, rather than long lists with words that have never occurred on the test. We suggest memorizing the first 500 Repeat Offenders in our Free Help Area. If you conquer the first 500 words, then consider the words in the last two decks of flash cards. And as always, remove any words that you know and only study the ones you don’t know.
You will need to memorize relevant math formulas and relationships to do well on these tests. This is important because it’s unavoidable on the ACT and it can save you time on the SAT. As a plus, memorization of these formulas often demonstrates an understanding of them. Additionally, there are a few formulas and relationships, which are neither required nor provided, that if known, can help you with some shortcuts on the test. Start studying math flash cards now to have an edge on test day.
In the coming weeks, we will look at some more specific test prep tricks, but for now, it’s important to get a plan in place and commit to it. These weeks of study may seem torturous, but they can change the next four years of your life. Seems like a small investment, especially given the huge return.