Three Key Steps For A Successful Testing Plan

by | Mar 4, 2020 | Testing

Students and families often have many questions about college admissions tests, ie the ACT and the SAT.  When should I take them?  When should I study?  How many times should I take them?  Etc. Remember these three key steps and you will be well on your way to developing a testing plan that works for you. 

Pick:  All colleges in the United States accept either the SAT or the ACT with no preference. So, students can choose which test they want to take.  Our advice is for students to take a practice SAT and a practice ACT and compare the scores. There are concordance charts online to help students figure out which test they scored higher on.  Students should also take into consideration their comfort level while taking each practice test.  Did one feel better? Did you run out of time on one or the other? Based on scores and gut feeling, pick one test and stick with it.  Why divide your time between studying for two different exams?  Spend 100% of the time studying for one exam and the hard work will pay off.  

Plan:  Look ahead to spring of junior year and fall of senior year and make a testing plan. We typically advise students to take an admissions test twice (three times, max!), since many colleges superscore the results (superscore means the college will take the highest scores from each section, regardless of the test date and combine them to make the highest score).  Once test dates are planned out (perhaps once in spring of junior year and a second time in the fall of senior year?), it’s time to make plans for practicing.  

Practice:  Studies show that some type of practice before the SAT or ACT, whether tutoring, online practice tests, testing books, etc. improves performance.  So now is time to fit studying for the SAT or ACT into your busy schedule.  Research has also shown that reading for fun can significantly increase standardized testing scores.  So, borrow an SAT guide from the library, and grab a fun book while you’re at it, to increase your scores.   

If you PICK, PLAN and PRACTICE, you have a better chance of doing well on the SAT or ACT.  If you would like to meet with a Campus Bound Counselor to develop a individualized testing plan, contact us today.  

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