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PSAT,SAT and ACT Tests

COMING IN SPRING 2016: Redesigned SAT
Click HERE for more information.


The SAT and ACT

The SAT/ACT are tools used to assess a student’s readiness for college.  Students are encouraged to start gathering information on colleges they are interested in and to take the SAT and/or ACT in the spring of junior year.  Students should check with the individual colleges/universities to find out which exams are accepted as part of their admissions process.

Sign up for the SAT and/or ACT by clicking on the links below:

Register for the SAT--The SAT is administered seven times per year:  January, March (or April), May, October, November, and December.  Students should plan their tests accordingly.  Many students take the SAT more than once to improve their scores as needed. Many universities frown on taking the test more than three times.  It's best to register early, since spots at your local testing centers fill up fast.

NOTE: The SAT will be redesigned effective Spring 2016, affecting those who are currently sophomores and below.  For more info click here!

Register for the ACT--The ACT is administered six times per year:  February, April, June, September, October, and December.  Students should plan accordingly.  Most students take the ACT twice.


THE SAT

The SAT is one of two standardized tests accepted by colleges.  It consists of three sections:  Math, Critical Reading, and Writing.  The maximum score for each section is 800 points, for a total of 2400.  The average score is 1500 (averaging 500 per subject).  Students are therefore encouraged to aim for at least 1600, in order to distinguish them as  "above average."  NOTE:  The SAT will be revised in the spring of 2016.  It will only include two sections, Math and Critical Reading, for a total of 1600 possible points.  Students who are currently sophomores and below will be affected by this revision.

For access to a variety of practice problems, explanations, and full-length practice tests, check out the links below:
SAT Practice Problems/Tests

Khan Academy:  SAT Prep



SAT Testing Day Tips--Click here to download a list of strategies provided by University Prep Club that will help you succeed on the day of the SAT.  This includes brief tips for each section, as well as a list of what to bring to the testing center. 

SAT Writing Section Concepts and Tips--Click here to download a list of writing section concepts and tips provided by University Prep Club that will help you improve your writing section score on the SAT.  This covers most of the grammatical concepts that the SAT tests you on, including examples and explanations.

SAT Essay Tips--Click here to download a list of tips provided by University Prep Club that will help you improve your essay score in the writing section of the SAT.  This includes strategies on how to structure your essay and support your argument with real-life examples.


Top 250 Most Difficult SAT Words--Here is the link to the Top 250 Most Difficult SAT Words. These are the words that show up a lot on the SAT and that have been proven to be the hardest for students to get right. Memorizing this entire list will go a long way in ensuring you get most of the vocabulary questions right, which will help increase your Critical Reading Score.


Recommended Materials
1.  Collegeboard's the Official SAT Study Guide 2nd Edition
        --Created by the same people who design the actual SAT, so the practice tests/problems they provide will be very similar to the actual test.
2.  Princeton Review's Cracking the SAT
        --Detailed explanations for each problem will help students' understanding of the types of               questions asked on the real test
        --Includes five practice tests
3.  Kaplan SAT 2015 Strategies, Practice, and Review
        --List of tough vocabulary
        --Includes five practice tests

Free SAT Prep Apps for Smartphone
1. Edupath (provides you with info about colleges as well, e.g. average SAT score, financial aid, student reviews) 
2. Kaplan SAT 
3.  SAT Connect
4. SAT Word Slam FREE
5. SAT Up
6. The Official SAT Question of the Day 
7.  play2prep (for ACT, SAT, and PSAT)
8.  IntelliVocab Lite for SAT
9.  iPredict
10. Ace the SAT
11.  SAT Vocab Cards


THE PSAT

All sophomores are given the opportunity to take the PSAT test, which is administered in October every year. This provides the students with practice for the SAT.

A select number of juniors are also allowed to take the PSAT.  Juniors who perform extremely well on the PSAT might qualify for the National Merit Scholarship, one of the most well-known scholarships in the nation.  National Merit Scholars are often offered additional scholarhips from various universities.  Also, juniors who take the PSAT are well-prepared to take the SAT in December, which gives them a leg up on college applications.  Additional information on the PSAT and SAT tests are available at www.collegeboard.org.


THE ACT

The ACT is one of two standardized tests accepted by colleges (the other being the SAT).  It consists of four sections:  English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science, as well as an optional fifth section, the Optional Writing Test.  Some colleges require the Optional Writing Test, so be sure to research if any of your colleges fall under that category.  Each of the four mandatory sections are scored out of 36 points.  Then they are averaged for a total score out of 36.  The average score is 21 (averaging 21 per subject).  Students are therefore encouraged to aim for at least 22, in order to distinguish them as "above average."

For access to a variety of practice problems, explanations, and full-length practice tests, check out the  links below:
ACT Practice Problems
 ACT Practice Test



Recommended Materials
1.  The Real ACT Prep Guide
 --Created by the same people who design the actual ACT, so the practice tests/problems they provide will be very similar to  the actual test.
2.  Princeton Review's Cracking the ACT
         --End-of-chapter drills to ensure comprehension of each section
         --Three practice tests
3.  Barron's ACT 36, 2nd Edition:  Aiming for the Perfect Score
         --Strategies for each section
         --Extra-challenging practice tests for each subject area

Free ACT Prep Apps for Smartphone
1.  ACT Up
2.  Kaplan ACT Quiz U
3.  ACTStudent
4.  ACT Math Connect Free
5.  play2prep


 


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