Why You Should Study for the ACT/SAT During the Summer Break

Studying for the SAT and ACT is probably the last thing you want to do.

Flickr user ehpien

I know, summer is supposed to be a time of relaxation. No classwork, no school requirements, just lounging, or a summer job, or vacation. But there are benefits to studying over your summer break. It might be the most crucial time to study for the ACT or SAT before you take it.

Start the summer before junior year

Now, this doesn’t mean you should be studying for it every summer before you take the tests junior year(ish). Until you’ve completed sophomore year, you probably haven’t learned about the concepts and equations that will be necessary for good scores. However, the summer before junior year is a good time to get started. It’s not too far in advance if you’re planning on taking the tests in the fall (and once in the fall, once in the spring is highly recommended). Studying for a few hours every week over the summer will help prepare you for the test. Plus, you can take practice tests for both the ACT and SAT to discover which, if either, format you prefer.

Why should you start studying for the SAT and ACT over the summer?

There are other benefits. Studying for the ACT/SAT will help bridge the gap between your sophomore and junior years—meaning you’ll be less likely to forget everything you just learned. This saves you time because you won’t have to relearn concepts that you already know. Plus, you can use your study time to lend some structure to your summer hours. Even if you work, you can practice finding time to study around that. It’s also a very useful skill if you plan to have a job in college.

Possibly the most important point I can make is that when you study for standardized tests over the summer, the information you’re learning doesn’t have to compete with all the info you have to learn during the school year (the exception being if you take summer courses). Your study time isn’t going to be divided into five classes and test prep. That means the material has a better chance of sticking and not being confused by outside information.

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