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Our college entrance exams prep is comprehensive, skill-oriented and esteem-building. We’ve been providing this specialized training since 2000 and we are excited to report that our students typically score better on these exams or raise their SAT scores 100-150 points and their ACT composite score as much as 10 points as a result of our guided practice.
The SAT and the ACT are the two college entrance exams available for students who wish to qualify for entrance into most colleges and universities. Although both tests measure the same skills, each presents the questions/content in different ways. Students typically do better on one or the other, so it is beneficial for students to take each exam at least one time to decide which is best.
The ideal is students prep for and complete these exams by the end of their junior year, however, this does not preclude their taking exams early in their senior year. The reason: Students are applying to colleges earlier every year so the summer before entering their senior year is when those applications ~ with their best scores ~ should be completed. After learning which test is best for them, or that results are fairly equal with both tests, students can then determine how many more times they feel they need to take each exam. Some of the factors that need to be considered are: the scores desired by the colleges, the student’s schedule, the amount of practice needed, if subject tests are needed, etc. Whatever the decision, it will help to keep in mind that because these are standardized tests, different results will only be achieved with improved test-taking skill.
Both the SAT and ACT are offered 7 times a year. As stated above, although it is best to have these exams completed by the end of the junior year, students can take the SAT or ACT several times in their senior year; either submitting applications during senior year or sending new scores to potential colleges after their applications have been submitted. All the information needed to register for these exams are at the following websites:
In March of 2016 a new, very different, SAT was released. The previous version, available since 2005, was much more difficult than the ACT and millions of students opted to forego the SAT. The new SAT offers three significant changes: there is no penalty for wrong answers, much of the complex vocabulary has been removed, and the essay, now optional, does not affect your Writing score. This has definitely been a “game changer” for students as well as those of us who are helping to prep students to do well on this test. For many, the new SAT is a better and easier exam.
The 10th Grade/PSAT exam is a simplified version of the SAT; with approximately half the questions and no essay, it takes half the time. This exam is administered during the school day in mid-October and is completed by sophomores to give them an idea of how they will do on the exam. Juniors who are working towards achieving the National Merit Scholarship also take this exam. (To qualify the test must be taken during Junior year.) There is now an 8th/9th grade version of the PSAT, too. The PSAT is explained in detail at the SAT website. The ACT offers a similar opportunity with their ACT Plan, which is also administered by high schools. You will need to check with your student’s high school to see if they make that available.
For both exams, many colleges allow students to choose and combine their best scores on a complete test. This is called “Score Choice” or “Super Scoring” and is a great opportunity for students to be able to present their best scores. They can show their best effort over several exams ~ and if they do not do well on a particular test ~ they do not have to send those tests on to the colleges. IMPORTANT: For this reason, do not list colleges when you register for either test. You will make the decision after you take the exams and when you are applying to these schools. NOTE: Most colleges accept this super scoring but there are some colleges, and college programs, that wish to see a specific range of scores received on one SAT or ACT.
The College Handbook, printed annually, provides information about the colleges/universities and the range of scores they want to see on both the SAT and/or ACT exams. NOTE: If they are not willing to accept super scoring, this will not be listed here. This, and all other important information regarding a student’s top choice of schools, should be learned by visiting the colleges/universities websites.
If a student needs Special Accommodations such as extra time, there are specific requirements by both the College Board and the ACT. Typically, a 504 Plan or IEP must be in place and parents need the help of their student’s guidance counselor or student support specialist. The application for accommodations is only needed once and should be done 6-8 weeks in advance of taking the test.
The big question is: Do you need to be prepped to take these exams? In the past, there was not as much of a need to be taught how to score well on the college entrance exams. Today, with so many students vying for acceptance into the colleges of their choice, the scores have become more important. So in a word, YES, you need to be prepped to achieve your best scores on these exams. As with most goals in our lives, we must learn everything we can about the subject/object of our goals. It is the same with these exams as they are both developed to evaluate if you are prepared for college-level work. The more you know about what is expected, and the methods used, the better you can perform.
Make Your Mark in Life offers individualized preparation for these college entrance exams. All the information presented above is discussed and, based on the individual needs of the student, a plan is identified. Sessions are two hours in length and students are provided with all their study materials. Cost per session: $100. For more information, please contact Lynda Allen at (772)231-9998.