For those who have good SAT/ACT scores

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by a2roxas28, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. a2roxas28

    a2roxas28 Member

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    what did you guys do to prepare for the SAT/ACT? Did you guys get a book, a tutor, or and online class. What did you guys do, I'm in dire need on tips.
     
  2. AKH

    AKH Member

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    Honestly, I paid attention in my math classes and I read far too much. I truly feel like you are either smart enough to do well on both tests or you aren't.

    But besides that I got the College Board's SAT book and skimmed it when I was preparing for the second go-around. The ACT is easier, didn't study for that. And yes, I'm pretty happy with my scores.

    Figure out what works best for you based on your strengths and weaknesses. If you aren't good at math I would get a tutor. Critical Reading isn't your thing, read more and learn appropriate test-taking strategies.
     
  3. a2roxas28

    a2roxas28 Member

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    here is a little background information about me. I basically an A & B student. taken 2 ap classes and now senior taking 4 ap class, including AP calculus. I have been know to over complicate problems and I think that is my problem.
     
  4. hopeo19

    hopeo19 Member

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    I took a SAT prep class over the summer and then studied a bit on my own. I found buying a book and taking practice tests to be very helpful. Take the SAT more than once, if you can, and try the ACT, too. I personally liked the SAT and hated the ACT, but try both!
     
  5. a2roxas28

    a2roxas28 Member

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    I plan on taking every SAT and ACT test until my scores are good. Right now Im just taking practice test in my SAT book.
     
  6. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    I bought a book for my son called Up Your Score. It had so many great tips for beating the test strategically. It's written by a group of 6 kids with perfect SAT scores. My son's score went from a 1220 to a 1350 (math and verbal--this was in the olden days before the writing portion) after reading it...he didn't study anything else, just read the book.
     
  7. Iwheel

    Iwheel Parent of

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    If you plan to take every ACT test, I recommend that you do a thorough prep with all the books you can get.

    We have every ACT book (almost) ever published. There are about 12 of these you can "collect." Among them the official ACT book is great with 3 real tests. There are 2-3 more real tests that you could download for free. Then there is a small book called dissecting the act. It analyzed every question in the above book for you.

    If you run out of the real tests, use the other books. Kaplan is pretty accurate while Mcgrawhill is a little easy. If you can find an old book by ARCO called ACT Supercourse, buy it. You can find a copy from ABEbooks.com. New this book you cannot buy it because ARCO is brought by Peterson and everything changed. There are several other books you can buy priced from $7.99 to $120/ea.

    Besides books, if you can find a true expert in ACT :)biggrin:) use him/her will be of tremendous help.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  8. Peter

    Peter Member

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    I find that the best way to prepare for these exams is to simply take the most challenging courses available at your school. I went the tutoring way, took those prep classes from Kaplan, and studied SAT books, but none of that stuff worked.

    By taking the hardest English classes however, I was able to more critically comprehend literature because I was expected to read the material daily, soak in the material, and then discuss it in class. Prep books and classes will never allow you that much control over literature. It also improved my writing substantially because reading and writing go hand in hand. Many times, I would be expected to critically read a passage and then write an essay on that topic. So for the exam, I would suggest for the writing section of the SAT, to go into there with a wealth of references. Use the books you read from class, current news, movies, and the daily media rather than simply just your personal experiences.

    For the math section of the SAT, again, taking the highest math classes allowed me to look at different ways of solving problems. Math has one correct answer...however, there are many times when a problem offers multiple ways to reach that answer. I didn't realize this until I took higher math. I mean sure, the SAT only tests up to Algebra II, but that doesn't mean you should stop your math career there. By continuing to take challenging math courses, you are developing your brain more and more, pushing it to find newer ways of solving problems. Remember, the SAT tests how you apply your knowledge...not how much you know.

    Now as for the ACT, I have no idea how to approach. I only took one practice test and did far from awesome on it.

    Good luck!
     
  9. abeastlybeast

    abeastlybeast USMA Class of 2015

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    Pretty much agree with all of that.
     
  10. USMA2015

    USMA2015 USMA Football '15

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    Honestly, the one thing I regret to this day was not paying attention in my math classes. For the SAT, this killed me...the ACT is a breeze to some, and troubling to others, but I think most find it more or less "easy."

    But some advice...one of the reasons I'm going through USMAPS is because of my SAT math scores. You're most likely in a harder math class than me, but trust me, it pays off to study/do your work.
     
  11. MarshellaSmith

    MarshellaSmith New Member

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    online tutor

    Why don’t you use an online tutoring service like tutorteddy.com ? My daughter uses it and has improved a lot.
     
  12. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    I bought the collegboard SAT study book, but I hardly used it. The thing was like a million pages long, and everything was extremely basic. So I gave the book away and just took the SAT without much preparation. I wouldn't recommend getting one of those big fat books, you probably won't use it. Then I decided to take the ACTs and actually study for it. I got a book called Getting a 36 or something like that. It's geared towards people who know the basic concepts (no explanation of long division, yay!), and it focuses on the hard problems. Oh and the best part is that it's not that long, so I actually read most of it. Long story short, I got a 35.
     
  13. Iwheel

    Iwheel Parent of

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    That is way pass their average. When son got 34 I was impressed. 35 is up there.:shake:
     
  14. freedomtruck

    freedomtruck Member

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    Being a slow learner, I did well on the SAT's through the good ol' fashioned brute force sweat and labor method. I took over 30 practice tests, memorized hundreds of vocab words throughout each day, studied straight up English grammar, wrote countless practice essays (sometimes memorizing essays I would write), and even consulted a tutor for Critical Reading strategy.

    Efforts --> Results
    Just my two cents.
     
  15. FBItomboy007

    FBItomboy007 Member

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    Similarly to tallbutshort's suggestion, I used Baron's SAT 2400 to up my score the last little bit. It was shorter than the average book with strategies for the harder problems, assuming you understand how to do the majority of the easier ones. What I found most helpful were the practice questions at the end of each section: they were modeled off the hardest questions of the SAT so, even if you aren't getting many of them right, you are improving your knowledge base so that you won't make the same mistake on the actual test. I found the Critical Reading portion most helpful - I don't think I would have done so well on that section if I had not read this book (and trust me, I read it cover to cover). My long story short is that I got a 2350 and owe the last few points in each section to this book.

    Also, addressing something Peter had written: getting ahead in math is great, but make sure you review the simple concepts of Algebra and Geometry. This hurt me the first time on the SAT because I got cocky. I thought, if I'm *this* far along in math, then I can do the SAT no problem. Well, just because you are ahead, doesn't mean you remember everything you ever learned or are used to using it under time constraints. Even if you only take an hour or two, review the math that will be on the test - don't assume you know it because you passed the course two years ago :)
     

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