For most homeschool and public school students, preparing for standardized testing is said to be the most stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you plan ahead and properly prepare your child, taking standardized testing as the SAT or ACT will be like a walk in the park. Most schools look to see if your child took the SAT or ACT. You don’t always need to take both so you should check with a few schools your child might be interested in and confirm what test they should take. Here is a list of topics to focus on to prepare for both the SAT and ACT.
Reading comprehension is critical for both the SAT and the ACT. For the SAT, there are five Reading Comprehension passages for you to focus on while the ACT has four Reading passages. f you haven’t done so already, start by practicing with reading something perhaps not all that interesting to you. It’s easy to breeze through a novel you enjoy, but when was the last time you looked forward to learning about something that you weren’t interested in. This is exactly what you can expect to come across on both the SAT and the ACT.
So how do you prepare yourself? By familiarizing yourself with the question types you can expect to see on the tests. On the Reading section of the SAT, you can expect to see questions like ‘what does the author suggest when they refer to a specific term’ or ‘according to a certain passage, what of the following statements are true’. While the ACT focuses on more of the literary narrative aspect.
For those who don’t like spending nights proofreading published books, you can best prepare by brushing up on your grammar skills, such as learning when to use a semicolon, apostrophe, comma, and colon. On both the SAT and the ACT, it is important that you follow the passage used for writing and grammar as a whole. This means paying attention to the sentences as one collective passage because both tests ask questions that rely on you doing that. Additionally, both the SAT and the ACT ask you what effect a new sentence will have if inserted at a specific point in the passage.
For both the SAT and the ACT, there is an optional essay you can write that will add an extra chunk of time to complete. If you can write well under pressure, it might be worth it to you. It’s also possible that it’s required by the college you’ve chosen, so like we discussed before, double check with your college of choice before taking either test. On the SAT, you’ll be given a reading passage followed by a prompt and will have to write an essay in response to the prompt. For the ACT, you’ll just be given a writing prompt (no reading passage precedes it) and will write your answer. For this section of the exams, the best way to prepare is to write under actual test-taking conditions. The internet is full of example writing prompts for both tests and you should practice writing your responses in an area free of noise and distractions and with a timer.
The best way to prepare yourself for the SAT or ACT is to go into the test knowing exactly what is on it. Familiarizing yourself with the test content well before the big day is a proactive way of mastering these standardized tests because you know what you’re getting yourself into. National Homeschool has all the programs and courses your child needs to properly prepare for the SAT or ACT standardized testing. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your child get into their dream college.