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March 15,2019

What standardize test to take and when?

One of the most important question high school students have is how to plan their standardized testing strategy.  Some of the points to be considered are below:

  • Take both practice tests earlier in high school, may be around 9th grade summer.  This will give you good understanding on what each of them contains and difficulty level.  Review score you received in each of them and use that as one of the decision factors
  • Ideally if you’re good in Science then consider taking ACT as it has sub-section for science
  • Reading section in SAT require higher level of interpretation and thinking while ACT might be bit easier
  • New SAT is just couple of years old so there isn’t long history while ACT hasn’t been changed recently
  • East-coast based students may find more help with SAT than ACT as more people are familiar with SAT format
  • Ideally, you want to attempt your first actual test during summer of sophomore or fall semester of Junior year.  Collegeboard started giving test in August so students who want to spend quality time on test outside of school days can take during summer sessions
  • There are no limits but ideally you should max. out your score in three attempts.  Beyond that you may not see much variation.
  • All well-known materials such as Princeton review, Kaplan or Barron’s are good reference to study but Collegeboard book is a must to have.
  • Most of the improvement may happen by self-study and doing many practice tests.  Understanding your own mistakes thoroughly will help you avoid making similar mistakes again.


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