Preparing for the ACT’s and SAT’s

Written by Rebecca M., Sprout Contributor

As a junior or senior in high school, all you hear is how important it is to take the SAT and ACT. Teachers hammer into our heads that we need to take both tests, and now you not only have to worry about taking the tests, but also about the score you get to see which colleges will accept you.

These tests are so much different than any final you will take in high school. End of the year finals can be stressful, but I truly think the SAT/ACT causes more stress than finals. When preparing for finals, you already know what will be on the test based on your notes and help from the teacher. The SAT/ACT are nothing like that because you do not have teachers telling you what to look over before taking them. End of the year finals will come and go, and eventually grades will be forgotten; however, SAT/ACT scores tend to stick. There is always the opportunity to retake the tests , but you can only retake so many times before you feel like giving up on getting into the college of your dreams.

I know some schools offer a prep class to help students prepare for these two tests. If you are like me and get worried about testing, go to your school counselor and ask if the school offers a prep course to help prepare for ACT/SAT tests. I look at it like this: It is better to ask for help and be prepared than to get a bad score and lose the courage to retake a test. The prep classes will also help you get used to the different types and styles of questions that will be on the tests. Once you become comfortable with this, it may help you get a higher test score.

Some juniors and seniors may think they are not smart enough to take the ACT/SAT. If you feel this way, check out where you can view sample test questions for the SAT. College Board is the main website for SAT testing, and will email you sample questions to help prepare for test day. You can set up a profile and save all your questions — that way, you can go back and look over the ones you need to work on. I know taking prep classes at school isn’t possible for some people, so having questions sent to your email is a big help. Every bit will help, and it is better to have a little help than no help