Using practice books, attending review sessions, hiring a tutor, and looking up practice questions are all great ways to study for the ACT / SAT. However, answering questions and taking the actual test are two different beasts. One thing you should absolutely try while prepping is taking a SAT or ACT sample test.
A practice test will give you hands-on experience as to what actual exam will be like. Having that foreknowledge will make test day less stressful. It may sound like such a waste of time to answer multiple practice tests when you feel well prepared. But when you get those few points extra, you’ll be glad you did.
Why Take a SAT / ACT Sample Test?
However, studying the test material doesn’t necessarily prepare you for the act of taking the test. The tests are timed, heavily regulated, and take hours to complete. That’s not something you may have practiced in your review sessions. Even if you know the material, you may not know how it feels to sit among peers for a few quiet hours while you bubble in your answers.
What you need to know is how to apply that theory to answer the questions in the test paper. The only way to do this is by completing a few practice tests. This will give you a pretty good idea of how well prepared you really are. It will also give you a hint of how much you can expect to score in the actual test.
Best Places to Take a Sample Test
Of course, the best place to start is at the official test sites.
To take an official ACT sample test, go to http://www.act.org/. Here you will find plenty of sample questions that you can answer along with useful test-taking tips. Choose the test you want to take and get started on your practice test right away.
Although SAT is set by the College Board, their official sample tests are posted on www.khanacademy.org.
The Official ACT Prep Guide releases a new set of 4 tests every year. These are full-length tests that were actually used in previous years. Along with the questions, the guide also provides guidelines and writing prompts. It’s definitely worth looking into.
Tutors might have access to older tests. Schools may offer practice tests as part of their review classes. Be sure to check in with your counselor for opportunities.
Another great service to check out is Method Test Prep! They offer prep classes, tutoring, online classes, and more! You can check out our review of Method Test Prep here.
How to Take a SAT/ACT Sample Test
Keep in mind, there is a right way and a wrong way to answer these practice tests. Here are 5 things you should do to ensure you are taking the SAT/ACT sample test the right way:
- Take the test in one sitting.
- Keep everything you need for the test ready before you start. This includes your stationery, calculator, and water bottle.
- Use official time limits when answering the sample test.
- Make sure you’re not disturbed while answering the test. Switch off your phone. Tell family members not to disturb you.
- Review all your answers. This will help you learn from your mistakes and ensure that you do better on your next practice test.
Check out how your ACT / SAT score affects your acceptance odds with College Raptor!