12 Last Minute SAT / ACT Tips
Tip 10: If You Take the SAT ACT With Writing, Make Your Essay Clear and Concise
Your essay should be pretty formulaic: introduction, three paragraphs, conclusion. Give concrete examples for each of the points in your argument, and make sure your thesis is clearly spelled out in the introduction.
Try and make your essay around two pages long (or at least more than a page) because there’s a positive correlation between essay length and score. If you decide not to take the test with writing, you need to be prepared to work on an experimental section. You will not know what type of material is covered by the experimental section.
When in doubt, go for the more concise answer. Follow the grammar rules and don’t overthink things.
Use your calculator as a resource, and make use of the diagrams. If you find yourself doing complex math, check yourself before continuing. The concepts being tested are fairly simple and should not require elaborate calculations. Memorize the formula sheet provided to you by your tutors or the practice tests you worked on. At Damian SAT ACT Prep we provide each student the formula sheet they need to know.
Skim first then read the question. You can read more in depth later when the questions point to specific parts of the passage. Try not to overanalyze things: if the evidence for the answer isn’t right there in the passage, it’s not the correct answer. Don’t be fooled by answers that are “almost” correct.
ACT Science is essentially about your common sense and logical reasoning not knowledge of scientific facts (though some exposure to earth sciences in school won’t hurt!). Don’t get overwhelmed by a bunch of numbers and terms you don’t understand. This is designed to distract you from getting down to the relatively simple concepts at the core of the sample experiments.
Most importantly is not to think too much about a section after you have finished it! You have plenty of time after the test to analyze your performance. Start each section fresh and with an open mind.
Tip 11: Be Aware: You Can Cancel Your Scores
If you’re really worried about your scores because you know something went horribly wrong on the test, you are allowed to cancel them. For advice on whether you should cancel your scores and how to go about doing so, read the article related to the subject posted at Damian SAT ACT Prep.
Tip 12: Taking the Test Again? Consider the Test Information Release
If you know you’re going to take the ACT again, you should think about ordering Test Information Release, a service the ACT offers for you to review your scores in more detail. This can be a very useful studying tool because it will show you your weak spots in a real test environment. Both tests are offering this service for a fee 3 times a year.
If you decide taking the test again, remember that many colleges are superscoring and therefore, giving you the option of getting an overall score better than taking the test only once. Specifically, the SAT is superscored by the majority of the colleges. Not the same thing happens with the ACT. However, more and more schools announce on their website that they will do superscore the ACT. Recently Notre Dame made this announcement for the class of 2019. Learn from your mistakes before heading to the next test. See what you could have done better. Talk to your friends and learn from their mistakes. You are going to become a better test taker and your success will be the reward for your hard work.