How to prepare for the SAT/ACT

Your Performance on the ACT, SAT and COMPASS/ASSET tests depends on a broad range of factors, including your general attitude, your ability to take tests, and your educational background.  Several other factors may have significant influence on your test scores: 

What is your math background? Students who have not had at least Geometry and Algebra 2 will not do as well as students who have this preparation.  Students are likely to improve their scores if they take additional math courses beyond the basics. 

Currency of mathematics experience.  Students who are taking a math course (or a science course such as Physics or Chemistry that uses mathematical concepts) at the time they take the SAT or ACT are more likely to do well, since mathematical terms, concepts, and operations are still fresh in their minds. 

Strength of verbal skills.  Verbal skills are developed in a variety of courses including English, History, Foreign Language, and other courses that require critical reading, writing, language usage, and analysis.  Extensive reading and writing experiences, both in and out of school can improve students' scores on either test. 

The rigor of curriculum  Students who choose to take the most challenging recommended courses (i.e., AP, honors or college prep vis-à-vis general studies) enhance their potential for doing well on these tests.  Students taking easier courses or course levels may be passing up opportunities to develop their abilities fully. 

Investment in SAT or ACT preparation courses, either in classes or on the web can bestow some advantages in taking these tests.  Such courses allow the development of a familiarity with test formats and type of content.  They also impart test-taking strategies to maximize scores. These activities build a sense of test-taking confidence that can also improve performance.