All Too Common ACT/SAT Prep Mistakes

A broken pencil which is one of many common ACT/SAT prep mistakesWhen it comes to the ACT and SAT, studying is important. However, many students make mistakes when it comes to preparing for these exams and these errors could impact their final scores. Here are four ACT/SAT prep mistakes you’ll want to avoid as you get ready for your standardized tests.

ACT/SAT Prep Mistake #1: Not Taking It Seriously

One big mistake when it comes to the ACT or SAT is not taking the preparation seriously. Your results on either of these exams can affect your college applications, so it’s important to prepare properly. You don’t want to keep putting the prep off until it’s the night before and you’re having to cram in some last minute reading.

ACT/SAT Prep Mistake #2: Only Taking Practice Tests

Practice tests are a truly valuable part of preparing for the ACT or SAT, but they shouldn’t be your only route to studying for the tests. Some students think they should be taking practice test after practice test, without really reviewing what they did.

Instead, you’ll want to take a practice test and look over your answers. Note what you got completely wrong or what you simply didn’t understand. These can help you identify your weaker areas. Between practice exams, dedicate your resources to studying those weaker subjects of yours. When you take another test, you can see what you improved on and what needs a bit more work.

ACT/SAT Prep Mistake #3: Taking the Practice Tests Without Time Limits

Time limits on the ACT and SAT can catch a lot of students off guard, as they may have forgotten to include this very important aspect of the exams while studying. Preparing for the time constraints of the test is just as important as preparing for the subject matter.

When taking a practice test, you should be taking it as though it’s the real deal. This means no phones, laptops, or interruptions. Ask your family to give you some time alone and turn off your wireless devices. You want to get the feeling of the actual SAT or ACT. Once you’re ready to start, set up the timers for each section and don’t forget to take your allotted breaks!

ACT/SAT Prep Mistake #4: Not Creating a Study Schedule

One of the best ways to get ready for either exam is to create a study schedule. This will have you taking practice tests, studying the material, and going over your weaknesses in a structured manner. It will help ensure you’re staying on task and actually devoting enough time to every aspect of the SAT or ACT.

But don’t forget to give yourself some time off too. Studying too hard too can create burnout.

Preparing for the ACT or SAT now can help you avoid some last-minute stress and potentially a bad score. Practice tests are a valuable aspect of the standardized test preps, but they’re not the end all, be all. Create a rounded study schedule so you can be properly ready when your test date comes up.

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