Everyone has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to academics. When you take the ACT or SAT, you might find that your weaknesses become more apparent when you receive the results. However, there are ways to work on those weak spots and improve your overall score.
Dedicate Extra Study Time to Your Weak Spots
Extra study time for a specific subject is never a bad idea, especially if it’s your weaker area. If you did well in English, but poorly in Math, you will definitely want to set more time aside for Math than English. Studying both for equal amounts of time can be great, but you have more room for improvement in the Math section. Dedicating that extra time to your weaker subjects can help improve that overall grade.
Use techniques that improve your score. If you struggle with a specific formula or aspect of Math, focus there. If you have issues with vocabulary or reading, study more regarding context clues. Also practice overall SAT/ACT strategies like process of elimination.
Take Practice Tests
Taking practice tests for either the ACT or SAT can help you prepare in between official test dates or even before you take the real deal for the first time. Practice exams help you find your weak spots ahead of time and also show you how much you’ve improved. You’ll be able to see while you do great in algebra in Math now, you may still be struggling with geometry and can adjust your study time accordingly.
While you’re more than welcome to take the entire practice exam, you can also just take specific sections. You don’t have to take the entire test every time you sit down for a session in your home, so it can help you save time on your weaker subject.
However, remember to spread out your study time and practice tests. You don’t want to take practice test after practice test. Schedule study time in between so you have time to improve before your next attempt.
Talk to Your Teacher
If you’re struggling with a specific subject, you can always talk to your high school teachers! After all, they see ACT and SAT attempts year after year, with perhaps students struggling with the same subjects you do. You can ask their advice, see if they recommend specific study techniques, or offer any other test taking tips for that particular subject. Some teachers may even offer to help you study after class.
In the same vein, you may also want to consider joining a ACT / SAT study group. Your teacher may know of one or you can ask around. There may be groups dedicated to studying to the overall test or specific subjects. It can be beneficial to your scores to get outside help.
Hire a Tutor
There are a number of tutors dedicated to helping students improve their ACT and SAT scores. Some even specialize in particular subjects, so you could search for a tutor based on wherever your weak spot happens to be. It’s best to seek out a tour as a last result though, since they can be expensive.
Improving your ACT or SAT “weak spots” won’t happen overnight. However, if you set specific time to study those subjects, whether through flashcards, practice tests, or study sessions with a group or teacher, you can start to see ways to break through and improve your overall score.
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