Tips to Help Your Student Crush the SAT or ACT
Three little letters, three hours, and a number two pencil are the only things that determine the rest of your child’s career. The SAT and ACT are both standardized tests that will determine what schools accept your teenager and ultimately the trajectory of his or her working life. No pressure though. As a parent, you can sit in the driver’s seat and help drive your teenager towards success. However, you can’t do it without the right tools. If you’re a concerned parent looking to do as much as they can to ensure your child soars through the standardized tests, check out these helpful study tips to get them in the right mental state.
Pick the Right Test for Your Teenager
You don’t need to take both the SAT and ACT. In fact, the option of two tests works in your favor. Check your child’s PSAT scores from previous years and evaluate how well they did. If they weren’t comfortable with the PSAT, they may want to take a free ACT practice test to see if the ACT’s format works better for them. If your teen is good at science, he or she may want to opt to take the ACT over the SAT. The SAT is also better at critical thinking skills while the ACT is better suited for overall knowledge. This means that the SAT uses more story problems as opposed to the straightforward questions of the ACT. You may also want to check with the schools that your child is applying to and see which they prefer.
Practice Makes Perfect
One of the most important things to learn is the format of the test. The SAT and ACTs are not like any test your student as taken before, and therefore becoming familiar with it will help them relax on the day of the test and teach them how to excel at the type of questions they will see. You can get free practice tests online, buy an approved standardized test guidebook, or enroll your child in a prep course to expose them to the test as much as possible. Help them analyze their weakness and focus on those questions during the weeks leading up to the exam. You should also be aware that although the SAT takes off for each incorrect answer, the ACT does not. So, sit with your child and create a good strategy based on the test he or she will take.
Relax the Night Before
One of the biggest reasons why kids don’t do well on their SAT or ACT is because of stress and the pressure associated with the tests. One more night of studying isn’t going to do your student much good, so instead, take them out for a stress-free day. You can go to the spa, relax at home playing video games, or go out for a nice dinner. This can help reduce pre-test jitters and allow them to relax during the test. Also, make sure they get a good night’s rest so that they are well refreshed the morning of the test.
The most important thing for a child to know is that his or her parent is there for them. Do all you can to help them succeed at their standardized tests and let them know you’re there for them if it doesn’t work out. They can take the test multiple times and we all know that practice makes perfect.
Contributed by Sally Writes