If you’re at the end of your high school journey and starting to prepare for college admissions, we understand that the mere mention of taking standardized tests can make you shudder and cringe. But, while you barely find the time to deal with schoolwork and extracurricular activities, how will you find the time to get ready for these exams that can undoubtedly affect your future?
Well, take a deep breath and let us reassure you that you can do it with a proper preparation plan and successfully achieve your goals. In this quick guide, you’ll find the best tips and advice compiled from education counsellors and tutors who have assisted thousands of students through college entrance exams. So, without further ado, here’s how to prepare yourself for college entry exams in 2022.
It’s Never Too Early To Start
Prospective college students often wonder when they should start preparing for the college entrance exams. The goal is to be prepared to take your college entrance exams during your junior year in high school. It would be best to take the ACT or SAT in the fall to avoid conflicts with advanced placement exams in the spring.
As you know, the junior year is notoriously busy, so it’s best to get as much of your test prep done in the months before your junior year begins. Our advice is to prep 2-3 months ahead of your first college entrance exam and continue as needed.
While our experts state that it’s never too early to start preparing, there is one caveat. Since the SAT covers math up to Algebra 2 and the ACT math goes up to Trigonometry, you should complete at least one semester of Algebra 2 before formal preparation. Nowadays, you can get professional math help online to learn the basic concepts of Algebra before tackling the questions on the tests.
Get To Know The Tests
One of the most critical keys in preparation is familiarizing yourself with the divergent entrance exams, and it’s really never too early to begin this process. For that reason, you can start getting to know the tests as early as freshman year. You can do this by getting an official SAT or ACT test prep book. Other crucial things you can do early in your high school life to prepare yourself for the tests include:
- Being focused on writing, reading, and vocabulary.
- Saving your math notes and tests so you can refresh your knowledge closer to the test.
- Getting familiar with resources like test prep apps, simulation tests, and learning the options for individual and group private tutoring in your area.
Holding a goal in mind at the outset will help you set a realistic plan for your prep period. And once you know the colleges you would attend, you should realize how hard you need to work in order to achieve your desired score for these institutions.
After that, you might want to take a practice test. Once you get your initial practice scores, don’t panic. Your first score is valuable information that helps you understand which areas you need to focus on more.
Put In The Effort
Time and effort may both have the most significant impact on your outcome. It doesn’t matter if you’ll be working independently or with a tutor; experts recommend spending about four to six hours per week practising and studying. This may also include a full practice test, which takes about four hours to complete.
Although this may sound like a lot of time, you can mould it to fit your learning style and schedule. For example, you can study 45 minutes each day or do it all on Saturdays. Whatever method you go with, consistent practice over time is essential.
Don’t Do Everything Alone
Preparing for the college entry exams is never meant to be a solo endeavour. Instead, join a prep class, collaborate with peers, or work with a specialized tutor to alleviate a lot of the struggle and stress. While joining a group class or getting a home tutor can both offer the benefit of learning from professionals with substantial experience, this option may not be in everyone’s budget. If this is your case, you can start a study group with your buddies and set a schedule for prepping and taking practice tests.
The bottom line is that you should think of this prep process like training for a marathon, as even first-time runners need to accumulate miles and miles of running before race day. However, with commitment and consistent practice, you will improve and be ready to perform your best on test day.