PSAT scores were released this week by the College Board. High schools juniors who took the PSAT can get their scores from their high school counselors. This is also a good time for students and their families to talk about test prep for the SAT and ACT.
Students who go into these tests with no preparation are often stressed to the point where they simply cannot think. They do not know what to expect or how to approach the different parts of the tests. The SAT and ACT are predictable tests that lend themselves to test prep. Research shows that more than 70% of colleges and universities consider SAT and ACT test scores a significant factor in college admissions.
Students often find the SAT and ACT intimidating. In addition, the tests are timed and the race to finish each section can be very frustrating. Students need to become familiar with the tests and gain practice on the types of questions that are asked. They must learn to work within the allotted time frame and find out which questions they should tackle or skip depending upon the section. They need to practice, review, and practice some more to gain confidence in their test-taking abilities.
Parents need to look into their test prep options and decide what is best for their student. What are your student’s goals and motivation to improve test scores? How much do you want to spend? Families can find good local test prep courses and tutoring by going to Google and searching for “test prep Denver” or whatever your closest city might be. Look for classes that are small and are taught by an experienced test prep coach. Make sure that students will be practicing on real SAT and ACT tests.
The SAT and ACT need to be kept in perspective, but not giving your student the benefit of some good test prep could hurt his or her chances for college admissions or the opportunity to qualify for scholarships that are based on test scores.