Preparing for the SAT and ACT is quite different from preparing for other high school tests. You can’t cram for these exams at the last minute. You have to set aside a few hours every week starting a few months before the test date. Besides these larger chunks of prep time, setting aside a few minutes every day can be extremely effective. Here are a few daily SAT and ACT preparation tasks.
These everyday tricks won’t take very long at all.
Expand Your Vocabulary
Think of vocabulary as the secret weapon that test takers use to ace the SAT and ACT. Understanding the reading, writing, and essay passages requires a broad vocabulary. It also helps to express your ideas more clearly in your essay writing. Doing any of these tricks every day will help build your vocabulary.
Subscribe to the ‘Word of the Day’ at Dictionary.com.
The site sends all subscribers a new word every day along with the meaning of the word. When you receive the word of the day, take time to learn more about how to use it in a sentence. Using it to make up a few sentences of your own will help you to memorize the word better. This is one of the easiest and most interesting ways to build your vocabulary one word at a time.
Read challenging books and articles.
College Board and the ACT feature long lists of books they recommend reading on their websites. Reading their recommended books can come in very useful for reading comprehension passages. While reading, highlight unfamiliar words and look them up in the dictionary. This is another excellent way to expand your vocabulary as part of your daily SAT/ACT prep.
Use flash cards.
Memorize your daily word of the day or new words that you come across while reading. Write the unfamiliar word on one side of the card. On the other, write the meaning or an example sentence. Go through a few flash cards whenever you have some free time during the day. Remembering new words isn’t easy but flash cards will help refresh your memory and improve retention.
Solve crossword puzzles.
It’s amazing how you much you can broaden your vocabulary by simply solving crossword puzzles. Crossword puzzles use words in very creative ways. Solving these puzzles will give you interesting insight into the many different ways that a word can be understood and used.
Improve Your Math Skills
The math section challenging but it’s also the section where you can earn a full score. This section is objective – the answers are either right or wrong. There’s no in-between. The highest you can score on the SAT Math section is 800, and on the ACT the highest is 36. Spending a few minutes every day honing your math skills is a must to earn the highest score possible.
Memorize these math formulas. Committing these to memory will make it easier for you to understand the question and ‘see’ the solution. This will save you a lot of time during the actual test. Start by doing a SAT or ACT math practice test to identify your weak areas. Accordingly, you can set a daily schedule for improving your weaker areas.
As part of your daily math practice, practice at least one question a day from the practice test. Or check online for common SAT and ACT math questions and practice one a day. The important thing is to review your answers. If you got it wrong, review the explanation to figure out what you missed. Then solve the question again using what you learned – this is most important.
When choosing your math question of the day, it’s a good idea to mix up the sub-topics. Don’t solve all geometry problems one week and algebra the next. A better way is to choose a question from different categories every day.
With the both the SAT and ACT, speed is as important as accuracy. Solving a math question a day will help you improve in both areas.
Solve the ACT or SAT Prep Question of the Day
The SAT and the ACT both offer ‘Questions of the Day’ on their website. These questions are taken from actual tests set during previous years. Every question is accompanied by the answer and a detailed explanation if necessary. You will need to open an account to review the answers and explanations. Opening an account is free, easy, and totally worth it. There’s no better way to prep for the SAT and ACT than by answering actual test questions.
Is Daily SAT and ACT Preparation Enough to Ace These Tests?
Not alone, it isn’t. Short, daily preparation is important but it isn’t enough. It’s just as important to set aside larger chunks of time every week to study for the tests, do practice tests, and review your answers.
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