International schools, in particular, require certain exams before any student can take their programs.
And if you’ve heard of foreign exams such as the TOEFL or the IELTS, best to brace yourself because you’ll need to answer another set of tests before you can start enrolling in any foreign school, namely the American Standard Tests (ACTs) and Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs).
What is an ACT and an SAT?
ACTs and SATs are standardized tests that incoming college students take in the United States. Each student has to take either of these if they want to enroll in any of the US colleges and universities.
SATs were first introduced in 1926 by the College Board, a non-profit organization in the United States.
The ACT followed three decades later when University of Iowa professor Everett Franklin Lindquist created the exam to compete against the SAT. Another non-profit organization that shares the same name as the test is also in charge of issuing the exam to high school students.
Both the ACT and the SAT share similar aspects. For one thing, you’ll find that both tests have Math, Reading and Writing categories. They even have optional essays that you can fill out without getting your grade deducted for mistakes. Both tests are especially tackled by millions of students each year, and students take them regardless of their location.
Most importantly, you’ll need to take either of these exams if you want to get into a good college or university abroad.
How Do You Prepare?
Most colleges and universities in other countries prefer students with outstanding SAT or ACT results. Not only does this test a student’s academic capacity, but it also promotes competitiveness among college enrollees. After all, the higher the grade, the bigger the chances you can get to pass any college of your choosing.
But don’t fret – there are plenty of ways to prepare and get that high score, as long as you start getting ready as early as possible:
Start getting used to each of the topics in the test.
There’s no other way to master the ACT or the SAT than to keep practicing. Answer practice tests and time yourself so you can learn how to manage your time. Once you’re done with each test, review your answers and spend the remaining time checking your mistakes. That way, you learn from correcting each of your own mistakes.
Enroll in a prep class.
If you think that studying on your own wouldn’t help those lessons stick to your system, best to start taking review classes. Since you’ll be studying for the same exams with other SAT and ACT takers, you’ll find it easier to be guided by an instructor who can help you go through each item.
But if you want a pricier option where an instructor can adjust to your own skills and pace, a private tutor can help you address what you really need in order to get the grade you want.
Train your brain to get used to memorizing formulas.
Although SATs tend to list down a few formulas that you can peruse while you’re answering your exams, ACTs don’t give you this privilege. Because of this, you’ll need to get used to memorizing math concepts and equations. Again, start familiarizing yourself with mathematical problems by answering drills in your practice booklets.
Expand your vocabulary skills by reading… a lot.
Start getting used to reading articles and difficult books. Both tests require an extensive set of vocabulary skills, so if you encounter unfamiliar words in the texts that you’ve read, best to highlight them and look up the meaning of each word.
If you still feel that your prep classes and practice booklets aren’t enough, both the ACT and SAT have prep apps that are good for when you need to prepare on the go. Not only can you access each lesson at the tip of your fingertips, but you can even monitor your progress no matter where you go.