Studying for the ACT or the SAT can take quite a bit of time, and you may be tempted to use a number of different tactics to prepare yourself. However, here are some things you should avoid doing when studying for the two exams.
Only Taking the Practice Tests
While practice ACT and SATs are a great resource available to you, you don’t only want to focus only on the questions. This is a great way to burn yourself out on studying and the exams themselves.
Instead of retaking the practice tests over and over, you should be honing in on your errors, weak points, and mistakes after the practice exams. Take a look at the answer keys to examine what you could improve on and questions you may not have understood. After you feel you have a good understanding, take another practice exam to see how well you did on your weaker areas.
Another way to burn yourself out on the ACT or SAT before you even take the exam is binge studying. Pace yourself. This means avoiding 5-8 hour study sessions. These long sessions could actually be detrimental to your exam results.
Rather than forcing yourself to sit in front of a study book for that long, spread out your study time. Take those 5 or 8 hours and do a little each day instead.
Studying Last Minute
Studying last minute should never be a tactic for any exam, final, or project. It’s also true for your ACT or SAT. It’s similar to binge studying and it’s very easy to become overwhelmed with the information. You also potentially lose out on sleep before the test date, also harming your score.
Instead of saving it all for the night before, plan your SAT or ACT studying ahead of time. Create schedules for yourself so you ensure you’re not cramming it all in last minute.
Only Using Some Resources
The PSAT and PreACT are two great resources available to all students during their sophomore and junior years. However, they’re not all the resources available to you so don’t stop there!
There are practice exams and study guides available in several places online. Your high school teachers and guidance counselors may also have more resources for you to use. Make sure to ask them if they have any suggestions concerning your SAT or ACT.
Using ALL The Resources
While you definitely want to branch out past the practice tests, it’s also important that you avoid using all the available resources. You may be a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of books, practice tests, and other study materials out there.
Start with the practice exams and the resources your teachers suggest. You’ll want to avoid checking out every SAT or ACT related book from your library. Focus on the materials that have proven their worth to previous students.
Studying for the ACT and SAT can truly be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know where to start. However, you want to ensure you’re studying correctly, which means pacing yourself and using a range of materials. Never save all of your studying for last minute!
Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!