If you are like many high school students, your hectic schedule leaves little time for ACT or SAT preparation. Between sports, extracurricular activities, and a heavy course load, you might be wondering how you’ll ever succeed on the most important test of all---the one that gets you out of high school and into college. While dedicated practice and study is recommended for the most dramatic score increases on the ACT and SAT, there are several options for even the most active students.
Study on the go
Even if you think your schedule is jam-packed, there are likely a few down times in your day.
During these “breaks”—such as eating breakfast, waiting at the doctor’s office, or riding in the car—pull out your cell phone and start studying! You can find free ACT Flash Cards on our website, as well as other test prep resources like Reading Comprehension Practice for both the ACT and SAT. You can also check out the Question of the Day at both the ACT website and the College Board SAT app. By "stealing" five minutes of practice during the slowest parts of your day, you are maximizing your time and still managing to memorize the most important information on the tests.
Take practice tests in chunks
It is extremely important to practice with real test questions; the more exposure you have to actual ACT and SAT questions, the more test patterns you will recognize and the more secrets you will unlock. It’s unlikely, however, that you have 3 or 4 hours to commit to taking a full timed practice test in a single sitting. But can you spare an hour? If so, take a test in “chunks.” The SAT has 4 sections, each of which is 65-minutes, 55-minutes, 35-minutes, or 25 minutes long, depending on the section. The ACT has 4 sections, which are 60-minutes, 45-minutes, or 35-minutes long. Take a timed section several times a week to learn the “feel” of the clock and to practice with real questions. You can find free official ACT and SAT tests here, which you can print and take as your schedule allows. Remember, though, that it is not enough to just take timed sections from the test—you must review your mistakes in order to learn from them.
Take a course
We know that your weekends are valuable, but your test scores are valuable, too. Not only can good scores get you into good colleges, but they can also create scholarship opportunities or exempt you from the most basic required college courses. If you can’t find the time to commit to a regular course, consider taking an ACT Accelerated Course. These focused classes are designed around the busiest student, meeting for 12 total hours, often in a single weekend. Our world renowned instructors have scored in the top 5% of all test takers, so they know how to help you achieve the highest scores. And if our Accelerated Courses still aren’t convenient enough for you, check out our Live Online ACT Accelerated Courses—you get the same experience, from a live instructor and interaction with classmates to the full 12 hours of the course, without ever having to leave the comfort of your home. It’s easy to spare a single weekend if it means admission to the college of your dreams!
So there you go—even the busiest high school student has no excuses for not preparing for the SAT and ACT. At PowerScore, we understand how frenzied and demanding your high school life can be, so we’ve created resources and courses to help the most active students succeed.
Image: "busy schedule?" courtesty of flik