Archive for the ‘ACT Test Preparation’ Category

Test Prep for the SAT and ACT – What You Don’t Know May Hurt You

September 14, 2017

Since the SAT and ACT are important criteria for college admissions, you should not assume that your student can take these tests with no preparation.  Test scores can make or break a student’s chances for college acceptance and scholarships.  Most experts believe that a good test prep course can help to improve students’ SAT and ACT scores.  Here are 5 tips to find a good SAT and ACT test prep course near you:

 

  1. The teaching is most important. Most test prep courses offer similar information, but a good course will have a teacher who can motivate the students.  The course should be taught by an experienced test prep coach, not a high school teacher or someone who has only scored high on the SAT and ACT.

 

  1. The test prep course should be affordable. There is no reason why parents need to spend $1000 for a test prep course.  Paying more does not make a course better nor does a big name make it more effective.  Parents should contact local, small test prep companies and inquire about what they offer before they sign up for another SAT or ACT course.

 

  1. Students should practice and take real tests. Students should only take test prep courses that utilize tests that are published by the College Board and the ACT.  Practice should also be done on real tests.  This helps students to know exactly what to expect and makes for a less stressful experience.  What good is practice if you are not using the real thing?

 

  1. The test prep course should focus on content and strategies. Parents should inquire about whether a test prep course focuses on test-taking strategies or also includes practice materials with review and explanations.  Students need to understand the content of the test, but they also need to know how to approach each part of the test and some test-taking techniques that will help them improve their scores.

 

  1. A test prep course should fit the needs of your child. Is the test prep course small enough to be beneficial? A course should include no more than 8-10 students.  Does it take too much time away from homework and other activities?  Students should spend only as much time as they need and once a week classes should be sufficient.  Will your student learn how to handle anxiety and gain confidence?  Stress relieving practices should be introduced and practiced.

 

Parents should always read the fine print of any test prep course.  There are no score guarantees in spite of what you may be told.  Students are usually given the opportunity to retake the course, but parents do not receive their money back.

Small improvements in test scores can make a difference in college admissions.  That’s why test prep can contribute to the overall success of a student’s chances for college acceptance and merit scholarships.

 

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5 Tips to Improve Your ACT Score

July 27, 2015

As a test prep coach, students frequently ask me how they can improve their ACT score. Since I have been providing test prep for high school students for more than 25 years, I have a few tips that will help students succeed on this important test.

FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE ACT
The ACT consists of four sections: English, math, reading, and science reasoning. Each section requires its own individual approach. Take time to understand the format of each section and the best way to tackle it. Read and make sure you understand the directions so you do not need to waste time on them when you take the actual ACT. The more comfortable you are with the test, the easier it will be to improve your score on the ACT.

USE GUESSING TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
There is no penalty foe guessing on the ACT so I suggest you waste no time on questions if you don’t have a clue what the question is asking. See if you can eliminate some answers and then make a guess between what is left. You can always circle the number of the question and come back to it later if you have a minute or two at the end of the section.

MAKE THE BEST USE OF YOUR TIME
Most students find the time constraints on the ACT a problem. You need to decide what questions can be answered more quickly and which you should leave until later. The science section seems to be the most difficult to finish on time. I suggest students skip one passage on the science test and try to be more accurate on their answers on the other six passages. When practicing on the ACT, it is important to time yourself on each test and figure out how to pace yourself.

WORK ON BOTH YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
Most colleges are interested in the ACT composite score. Your goal is to do what you can to improve that score. If you are strong in English, try to become even stronger. If math is your weakness, don’t try and learn new math at this time. Make sure you do the math questions you know how to do and don’t make stupid mistakes.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
There is no substitute for practice if you want to improve your score on the ACT. Practice on real tests and go over every question you miss. Make sure you understand the reasoning behind the correct answer. Check any questions you miss and return to the passage to find the supporting information for the right answer.

Is your high school senior ready for the September 12th ACT? Remember, ACT scores can be a determining factor for college admissions and scholarships. If you need a class or some individual tutoring, College Direction has two six-week courses beginning Wednesday, August 5th. Call 303-692-1918 or visit http://www.collegedirection.org for the registration and schedule.