If I Have Good Grades, Will the ACT / SAT Be Easier?

Flickr user Jakob Renpening

There are a lot of benefits that come with good grades—increased college acceptance odds, more scholarship opportunities, honors awards, academic accolades, etc. You’ve worked hard to achieve those good grades, but it doesn’t mean you can necessarily coast when it comes to the ACT and SAT. Here’s why:

Even 4.0 Students May Not Be Good Test Takers

Assignments, projects, class participation, and quizzes are very different than tests. Tests are timed, they’re a culmination of what’s been taught, tests are nerve-wracking. Sometimes even the brightest students just aren’t good test-takers.

Therefore, it’s important to study up on helpful test-taking strategies, know the formatting of your chosen test, and take practice exams to get you ready.

The ACT / SAT Tests Are Unique

And the ACT / SAT tests are an entirely different beast than the typical high school exam. The ACT / SAT are several hours long, are broken up into various subjects, have challenging questions, and require critical thinking and reasoning skills. Even if you can ace standard high school core class tests, the ACT / SAT is a test all of its own.

Again, it’s incredibly important to know the formatting of these tests inside and out before you sit down to take them. Practice tests are highly recommended, as is retaking the exam at least one more time. Read up on ACT/SAT-specific strategies.

Subject Familiarity Will Help

Though either test will rarely ask you a direct question that recalls specific information (ie: You won’t see a question like “What is the fourth planet from the Sun?”), familiarity with academic concepts will be a big help.

For example, in the ACT science section, you’ll come across scientific terms and charts. Knowing the basics can help ease your stress and solidify your answers. Knowing root words, prefixes, and suffixes will give you an advantage when it comes to reading comprehension sections. These tests generally won’t test specific knowledge, but having that knowledge helps in terms of context clues and confidence.

So, will having good grades make the ACT / SAT easier? Well, it certainly won’t make the tests more difficult. There are advantages, but don’t get too comfortable. Make sure you take these tests seriously and study well for them.

See how your ACT / SAT scores affects your acceptance odds with College Raptor’s free match tool!

Allison Wignall

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