SAT/ACT Strategy

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by CA_hopeful, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. CA_hopeful

    CA_hopeful Member

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    Hello, I am an incoming Junior and am starting to prep and plan for the standardized tests. I am looking for any advice on when to take the tests, how prepared I should be before taking them for the first time, etc. In addition, the SAT is undergoing a revision so if I want to take the old SAT I will have to take it before March 5, 2016. I took the PSAT last year (received a 211) and will be taking it again this year. I have heard from friends who are off to college (not service academies) that they focused on either the SAT or the ACT. I know West Point doesn't mind either way, but I am still not certain which test I want to use. I am slightly overwhelmed looking at all the dates and info and concerned about how I score because my school does not normally rank students and I am not sure if they will make an exception (I am ranked 1 or 2 in my class out of 60, but at a very competitive college prep school). I want to make sure that if my rank does end up being calculated based on my SAT/ACT scores that it represents how much effort I put into my academics. This post is sort of a mess, but any input is appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    Your class rank will be based solely on your gpa and the number of students in your class. Based on your PSAT score, you should do well on the old SAT. I don't know how the new SAT compares. It wouldn't hurt, if you can afford, to take the ACT also. Some students do better on one test vs the other. You should start taking the test(s) now.
     
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  3. whitewolf

    whitewolf Member

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    Take the test(s) several times. You can send improved scores and West Point will take the best score.
     
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  4. time2

    time2 Member

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    Some do better on the one vs the other, so I would suggest you take both ACT & SAT. There is no guarantee of getter better scores from taking it multiple times, but perhaps some do better once they are more comfortable taking those types of tests. None of the SA's use SAT/ACT to determine class ranking.
     
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  5. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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  6. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    One's frame of mind alone is probably worth 100 SAT points to the good or bad.

    Both my sons smoked the Math SAT, but had problems with Verbal. We used a private tutor for each, spending about $30-40/hour for 6-8 hours. BTW, we didn't pay the tutor to watch them take the tests. He taught them the techniques which they employed while taking the tests at home. He then analyzed the results with them looking for consistent weaknesses, most of which were correctable.

    In both sons' cases, it was intimidation by and dislike of the Verbal section feeding off of each other. Once they learned the "tricks", it became more of a game. There are general strategies for test taking, but also tactics for standardized tests. The SAT and ACT even have their own individual peculiarities. There is a specific way to read each question. For instance, one can eliminate answers almost without reading the question, thereby giving more time to go back and check one's work before the buzzer sounds. The tactics are few and they are simple. Learn the skills and then employ them with practice tests. After doing that, you will walk into the test looser and with greater confidence.

    Whatever you do, don't simply grind through endless practice tests. You'll only frustrate yourself. I'm sure you've heard of "practice with a purpose." The best athletes arrive at the game with a few butterflies, but also with confidence based on an attention to detail and technique during practices which he/she made meaningful. Make sure you walk in with that same mindset.

    Best of luck!
     
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  7. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    There is a technique to taking these test. Most students will plateau after taking the tests their third or forth time. This is when you need to find help with finding a better game strategy as mentioned by cb7893. Remember, SA superstore your results, in other words they use your highest results no matter how times you take the test. Its in your best interest to get the highest score possible for best consideration by SA and for your Plan B an C.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
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  8. time2

    time2 Member

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    I seriously doubt anyone who charges $1,000/hr has any magical success formula worth that kind of money. (I guess for those wealthy enough, he can charge whatever he wants.) His comments about the changes being made to the SAT perhaps are motivated by his concern about how this could impact his lucrative tutoring business.

    If someone isn't good at math, no amount of coaching/tricks/strategies will suddenly change that.
     
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