Why You Should Take the ACT / SAT Practice Tests

A student taking a practice test

Flickr user Thomas Mueller

If you have the ACT or SAT coming up, what are you doing to prepare? One must is to take the practice tests during your study time. Here are three reasons why this is an important preparation technique that you shouldn’t skip.

Lets You Know What To Expect

It’s one thing to hear that the SAT has a math, reading, and writing and language sections (or the ACT has English, math, reading, and science), but another to experience them in the tests. You could know the subjects well, but still do poorly on the exams.

That’s because the SAT and ACT are testing more than your knowledge. They’re not looking to see if you can memorize facts. They’re testing your reasoning and critical thinking skills. If you go in to the tests expecting to ace them with no prior prep, you could find yourself severely disappointed with your score.

Helps You Find Your Weaker Areas

The SAT and ACT practice exams are also a great tool to finding what you need to focus on to score better. After you complete each practice test, make sure to review your answers and note what you got incorrect. It can be insight into your weaker subjects.

It can also provide insight even deeper than that and find your weak areas within the subject. If you do well overall in math, but your trigonometry answers were wrong, you know what to focus on. You may find your grammar needs work when it comes to the English section.

Once you know where you need improvement, focus your study on those subjects before taking another practice test. Only return when you feel more confident in your weaker areas.

Teaches You To Follow the Time Constraints

Each section of the ACT and SAT is timed, which means you only have so much time to spend on each question. This could cause potential problems if you test slower or get stumped on some questions.

However, by taking the practice tests, you can see exactly how fast you have to move through each section to complete all the questions. You’ll also learn to skip questions that are too difficult or you’re spending too much time on. You can return to those after you’ve finished the easier questions within the section.

When you’re doing the practice tests at home, make sure you’re timing yourself and keep to it! You won’t be able to sneak in an extra minute on the real deal, so don’t do it during practice either.

The practice ACT and SATs are a must for any student studying for the exams. They can help you know exactly what to expect when it comes to the tests themselves. This will prevent any surprises. It will also adequately prepare you personally by allowing you to work on your weaker areas and work efficiently in the time constraints. When preparing for the ACT or SAT, never skip this essential step! You can find practice tests of these online through the College Board and ACT’s websites.

Check out how your ACT/SAT scores affect your acceptance odds with College Raptor!

Hilary Cairns

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