How to Study for the SAT & ACT

It’s that time of year again!

I’m often asked, “What’s the best way to study for the SAT or ACT?”  Well, I have a ton of helpful tips and tricks, but if you only want a few to focus on then I can help you out.  I’ve boiled it down to three extremely important tips to help you practice and get ready for the SAT and ACT. Make sure to pull out a pen and write these down because you are not going to want to forget these!

Take the word “Study” out and replace it with “Practice!”

This is an important step both mentally and in practice. You already know how to do the math! You’ve taken the classes and have set yourself up for success already.  You know algebra, geometry, advanced algebra, and even trigonometry and you know how to work the problems. Now it’s just time to practice the way it’s going to come at you in test form!  So, take practice tests! This is a huge key to success for both the SAT and ACT. Sit down and take the full math section of a practice test. Then do it again! One of the best things you can do is take as many practice tests as you can.  The more you see and learn on the practice tests, the easier the real test will be.
The next thing you should look out for is those tricky problems where you don’t know what they are asking, so finding the question is going to be a key thing to practice too.

Find the Question First

This sounds like a simple thing, but you could be surprised how often you get caught up in trying to figure out what a problem is asking you to do.  And what’s the best way to get better and faster
at something? Practice it! It’s crazy important and the easiest way to practice finding the question is looking at the end of the problem.  That’s right, the first step is to start at the end! Once you have found the question, then work your way back through the equation to find any information you need to answer the question.  That’s your job on the SAT and ACT. Find the questions and answer them correctly. Pretty simple right! This will help you save a lot of time looking for the problem to solve when you are taking the test and help you focus on the important thing, the math.  And speaking of time, that leads me to my last tip!

Time yourself

This is a really important thing to do when you are taking those practice tests. Timing yourself will not only let you know how long you are taking overall but help you can get a feel for how to distribute your time when you are taking the actual test.  It also lets you see if you’ve been working on a question for a while, and if you have been then chances are it’s a hard question and you should skip it and come back to it later. Time management on the SAT and ACT is crucial and answering all the easy questions is important if you want to get a high score.  So when you come across a difficult question just skip it and come back to it at the end when you have the rest of your time to figure it out. Timing yourself will make a huge difference and really help you focus on the easy questions first rather than fumbling around and wasting precious time on those hard questions.  

What else should you look out for? Well, here are some more quick insights:
  • -Be ready for function notation.
  • -Make sure you know the vertex form of a parabola.
  • -Make sure you have worked with the equation of a circle.
  • -Know systems of equations.
If you follow these hot tips when getting ready for the SAT or ACT, you will not only feel extremely prepared and confident, but you will also be ready to take on whatever they throw at you. If you need any extra tips, check out our free slideshare that I have put together!
That’s all I have for you today! Make sure to prepare by using practice tests, find the question first, and make sure to time yourself. Remember, the best way to get better at something is to practice, practice, practice! 

Register for our SAT & ACT Bootcamps today and raise your test score!


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