Daily ACT / SAT Prep Tips and Tricks

Student doing ACT / SAT prep

Flickr user ELAC Libraries

Although you should be setting aside a few hours every week to devote to ACT and SAT prep leading up to your test date, it doesn’t hurt to do a bit of studying on your off days. These daily tips will take just a few minutes every day, but can keep your mind fresh between study periods.

Learn a New Word

Both the ACT and SAT will have sections on vocabulary in context, so learning a new word can come in handy! Try picking a vocabulary word from a list of commonly seen words on the test and memorize the meaning.

One suggested way is a flash card. Write the word on one side and the definition and an example sentence on the other. Keep all your past words, and during your study day (or even in between), go through your deck of words to see which ones you know and which need a bit more work.

Practice a Math Question

Math skills can get a bit rusty when you’re out of practice, so it’s best to keep your mind sharp by practicing a math question a day.Try picking one out of a practice test or a website that offers common SAT and ACT math questions.

Once you’re completed the math question, review your answer. If you got it wrong, try to figure out why you answered incorrectly. And make sure to mix up the questions you picked. You don’t want to do an algebra question every day. Try trigonometry, geometry, problem solving, and other math skills throughout the week.

Solve the ACT or SAT Prep Question of the Day

Both the ACT website and CollegeBoard (who hosts the SAT) offer Questions of the Day. You can get the ACT’s question by signing up for their weekly email. Each week, they’ll send you an email with the week’s questions. You do need an account to review these questions though. They come from old tests and will contain the answer to the question along with an explanation.

With the New SAT app from CollegeBoard, you can easily take the Question of the Day through the Daily Practice section! And if you’re stuck on the question presented to you, you’ll can ask for a hint. After each question, you’ll be able to see answer explanations to help you improve your score. The app makes it super easy to practice for the SAT no matter where you are.

Even daily practice for the ACT or SAT can add up in the end. Whether you’re using flash cards to learn new vocab words, are practicing a math question a day, using the ACT/SAT Questions of the Day, or a combination of all three, you can start to see test prep get easier and easier. But don’t forget: You do need more than five to ten minutes a day to properly prepare for either the ACT or SAT. Remember to set aside several hours each week for study time, practice tests, and review of your answers.

Hilary Cairns

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