By: Melody Wolf
When applying for colleges, I will definitely say that my weakest area was standardized testing. I prefer human interaction over answering questions with a pencil under pressure any day. In fact, I wouldn’t have been surprised if my test scores prevented my acceptance into UF. Looking back, there are plenty of things I would have done differently, and I would love to share some advice with you people.
It’s never too early to start
I still remember when one of my best friends said he took the SAT his freshman year of high school. I laughed at him – mocking him for taking the “real deal” before most kids even took their PSAT. I thought that he was crazy and that what he was doing was a complete waste of time. Looking back, WOW, was I wrong. The earlier you start, the less pressure there will be – I promise you’ll have a much clearer head while studying!
Find and then focus on your weaknesses
The SAT and ACT are nation-wide. You know what that means? There’s no shortage of practice questions out there. That means you can figure out what you’re not to good at, and then drill yourself with practice questions — you’ll never run out! Standardized testing has a lot more to do with how the questions are phrased rather than what they’re asking. By doing enough practice problems in your area of weakness, you’ll start to grasp how they want you to answer them. That way, even on those questions that seem absolutely impossible to answer, you’ll stand a fighting chance!
Integrate it into your schedule
It’s so incredibly easy to put your ACT/SAT studying on the back-burner. Why? Because there’s no one to yell at you. The only person affected by the outcome of your test scores is yourself (and maybe those crazy parents who will accept nothing less than an Ivy League). You have to set aside time dedicated solely to answering practice questions and taking mock exams. Try writing it down on your calendar. Also, incentives are a great way to keep you motivated. Every time you get five practice questions right, give yourself a treat!
I fully understand that preparing for the SAT/ACT is the LAST thing you want to do. Just remember that scoring well can save you a lot of money in the long run, especially if you plan on staying in Florida. Think of it as a job. I wish everyone the best of luck!
For more help on SAT preparation, make sure to check out our book: College Study Hacks 101 Ways to Score Higher on Your SAT Reasoning Exam.