Parent’s Guide to SAT and ACT Test Prep: Part 1

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Let’s start with a reality check:  college admissions officers say that college entrance exams like the SAT test or the ACT test are only one consideration among many when reviewing a student’s application.

We also firmly believe that a student’s future happiness and success, no matter how you define that, does not depend on how they do on their SAT’s!  It is important to continuously remind yourself, during what can be a very stressful process, to keep things in perspective.

Having said that, we do believe in planning ahead to take some stress out of the process.  Towards that end we have assembled the following guide to answer the following questions:

Which tests should my child take?

Both the SAT and the ACT are widely accepted. To decide which test matches a students’ strengths,

To decide which test matches a students’ strengths, schedule a practice ACT in the Fall of Junior year (called a PLAN test), and compare the results with the PSAT.  Consider both the relative score, as well as individual learning strengths and personal preferences. (Note: practice tests can be taken and scored in our office, if necessary).

When should we start test prep?

Think about the specific considerations that might impact your child’s testing timeline:  extracurricular activities, early admissions, test anxiety, skill level and need for practice, score goals, and other learning issues to develop a plan that is right for your specific student.

Check the test dates for the SAT here and the ACT here … in fact, write them down on your calendar, so that you don’t inadvertently miss the window to register (Note:  the next SAT is January 22, register by December 23, and the next ACT is given on Feb 12, register by Jan. 7).

In Part 2 of this series, we examine some of these issues in more detail.  We hope you find the information that follows on SAT and ACT testing helpful.  If you are a parent who has already been through the SAT or ACT prep process, please add your thoughts in the comments, so parents can learn from your experience!

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