Summer is finally here! High school students are probably ready for some much-deserved rest and relaxation. They might have job plans or an internship. But don’t overlook the benefits of summer test prep. Test prep is a long-term process, so you want to take every opportunity to prepare. During the summer, you’re more relaxed and may have more time to devote to preparing for the ACT or SAT.
Strong test scores can lead to a scholarship and other academic opportunities. Here’s why college admissions test prep should be on your to-do list this summer.
It’s a Chance to Get Familiar with the Test
The first step in mastering any test is understanding what you’re facing. Knowing what to expect can ease test anxiety and give you an edge on testing day. Start with a practice test. This is a good way to dive right in and see the kinds of questions and format you’ll experience on the big day.
Take a good look at the instructions. Pay close attention to the format, wording, and style for each section of the test. When you are familiar with the instructions, you won’t waste time overanalyzing the wording on test day.
You Can Determine Your Target Score
Many admissions experts recommend finding your “target” score as the first step for ACT or SAT prep. Next, look at average scores for freshmen admitted to your college of choice. Most schools list this information on their website’s admissions pages.
Look at the middle 50% range for each college on your list. Aim for a score near the top of this range. For example, if the ACT score range for the colleges on your list falls between 28-34, then aim for a score at the upper end of that range. Of course, you may not achieve that score on your first attempt, and that’s okay.
After you receive you practice test score, you can see where you need to improve. This can guide your focus and test prep strategies.
See Where You Stand and What Needs Improving
Students who aren’t succeeding in school can start to feel bad about themselves and their abilities. A good tutor will take the time to get to know their students. They will assess their strengths, weaknesses, and confidence levels. Then, as students work with a tutor, they discover new ways to approach their schoolwork, test prep, or whatever they’re struggling with.
They begin to see themselves improve. Every success builds confidence. Having confidence in your abilities is priceless. And this can help students in and out of the classroom setting.
Ample Time to Prep and Do Other Activities
You’re more likely to study if you create a test prep schedule and follow it. So take a look at the calendar and insert as much time for ACT or SAT practice as you can. If you have 10 weeks of summer ahead, aim for at least 25 hours of study time per month. This means committing yourself to five or six hours of test prep each week.
A schedule like this gives you ample time to both enjoy your summer and get ready to test. Find what works for you and your schedule. There are lots of ways to incorporate test prep into your summer plans. And you’ll never regret taking the time to prepare and do your best.
A Chance To Take It Slow
Do you dread the thought of opening an ACT or SAT review book this summer? If so, that’s understandable. But don’t feel like you have to tackle the entire book in one weekend. Instead, try answering one question a day. As you build that habit, add more questions when you can.
Find a time that works for you. Answer one question as you eat breakfast or during your lunch break. Set an alarm to remind you if you think you’ll forget. Doing one question at the same time every day helps you get into the habit of college prep. It may even inspire you to expand your test prep strategies. Reading test questions, practicing critical thinking, and analyzing your answers will help you become familiar with the test and feel more confident and prepared on the big day.
Portability – Take It with You
ACT and SAT prep materials are portable. If you’re planning some getaways this summer, keep your ultimate goal in mind. Reading and completing crosswords or Sudoku puzzles can be ways to keep your mind active as you travel during the summer. Take a test prep book with you, do some practice questions and analyze what you missed and why.
Take a set of ACT or SAT flashcards with you. Then, have a friend quiz you or practice alone on the plane or in the car. Test prep doesn’t have to be boring. Playing games, reading, and quizzing yourself are all ways to keep your brain active.
With a little willpower and some creativity, you can prepare for the test when you’re away from home.
Test Prep Tutors are Available
Many students find great success increasing their scores using an ACT or SAT tutor. These tutors are experts on standardized tests. They understand what’s on the test and how to teach the tips and strategies to help you do your absolute best. If you feel overwhelmed with the thought of test prep during the summer, a tutor may be the perfect solution.
No matter where you’ll be during the summer, you can have access to online tutoring. A tutor can assess your readiness and identify the best ways for you to prepare. They can tailor instruction to suit your needs and help you develop a study plan to get you ready for test day. Knowing you have regular sessions with a tutor can keep you motivated to do your best. High school students often feel overwhelmed with the idea of preparing for the ACTs or SATs. A tutor can help you understand the test, improve your test-taking techniques, and boost your scores.
Read What You Want to Read
You’ve probably done your fair share of reading during the school year and are ready for the summer break. But don’t stop reading during the summer months. The ACT and SAT place great emphasis on comprehension and interpretation. Many of the questions contain passages from short stories, novels, or poems. In addition, you must be able to make inferences and summarize what you’ve read on the test.
Find books you enjoy and read for pleasure rather than to pass a test. Look for books at or above your reading level. Books on AP English or History reading lists are classics and always good choices to prepare for high-stakes tests. The more you read, the more likely you will encounter passages you’re familiar with on test day.
Take a few minutes to read every day. Then, take a book or two along on your summer vacation. Reading will nurture your imagination, expand your vocabulary, and enhance your comprehension skills over the summer months.
Mix It Up
One of the best ways to prepare for the ACT or SAT is to use various test prep materials and methods. There are many available resources you can purchase or access online. Consider buying a test prep book, watching YouTube videos, subscribing to an online question of the day, or downloading a test prep app on your phone.
You can buy or print vocabulary or test question flashcards as well. And one of the best ways to prepare is to use an online tutoring service. Finding multiple ways to prepare is always a good idea. There are test prep resources available at your school or local library, local bookstore, and online. Many free college prep resources are available if you take the time to look. Find what works for you and give yourself several weeks to prepare.
Summertime College Test Prep Makes a Difference
Don’t let the summer pass you by. You’ve worked hard all year and are probably ready for some summer fun. But, the months will pass fast and soon you’ll be facing college application deadlines. That’s why adding a little college test prep to your summer plans is a great idea. There are so many resources and ways to prepare for test day, including our team of experienced test prep tutors.
Our experts are ready to help you enhance your skills and take your test scores to the next level. We can help you prepare to do your absolute best on the ACT or SAT. We know how much is riding on your test scores. Summer is the perfect time to begin! Get started on your college readiness journey now! Contact us today to get started.