Preparing for SAT, ACT and TOEFL Testing

By Kit Hudgins, BGGA Tutor

Standardized tests are an integral part of the college placement process. Your test score can make or break your acceptance into the college of your choice.

The whole point of the SAT and ACT is to show that you are ready for college.  If universities see you can’t cut it on the test, then why would they accept you into their program? Colleges are turning down students every day. They want successful students enrolled in their college or university.

It’s important to take the process seriously and be thoroughly prepared for your test. The best way to reduce test anxiety is to be prepared. Here are some tips to be better prepared for taking your standard tests.

  • Preparation should begin three to six months prior to test day. That includes studying, taking practice tests, working on vocabulary, reading and processing what you’re reading as well as honing your reading and writing skills.
  • The amount of study time depends upon the student’s prior academic background and general test taking abilities.
  • Don’t do test prep work after 10 p.m. on any given night.
  • The more practice tests you take, the more you know what you’re getting into. The sample tests help demystify the real test. You can also learn your strengths and weakness and where to focus your study efforts.
  • Go to the test websites and work on sample problems and read the scoring guidelines before testing.
  • Understand the basic rules of grammar and punctuation along with good vocabulary skills are the keys to the English portions of both tests and are also areas that the essay graders look at when scoring the essay portions of those test.
  • Don’t skip the essay portion of the tests. Even though the essays are optional, most colleges want those scores. The reason for the essay is to prove to schools that the students reading and writing abilities are on at least a 12th grade level.
  • Stay positive with your attitude towards standardized tests.
  • Making sure the week of the test that you’ve taken care of yourself in terms of your rest and diet. It’s the same as preparing for a golf tournament.
  • Every single version of the test that you take, whether its SAT or ACT, is a different version than you’ve had before. Some are considered difficult and some are very easy.
  • Don’t overestimate your skills or underestimate the test creators. The test creators are compelled by the college system to continue to raise the bar on academic performance.
  • The ACT has a hidden element in the science section. You can be stellar in the other two areas but the science section is a zinger for most students. It has a lot of chemistry questions.

Give standardized tests the same mentality you use when preparing for a golf tournament. Taking standardized tests takes practice just as you do for your golf.

***You cannot graduate from BGGA’s academic partner Montverde Academy without both an SAT and an ACT score.

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