Preparing for the ACT & SAT

Test Prep for Spring: How to prepare & study

Spring is just around the corner, which means testing days will be at your front door before you know it. During the preparation time for these monumental tests, students tend to get overwhelmed with what needs to be done, i.e. scheduling the test, planning out practice test, and the overall time investment necessary to properly cover each subject. At Resurrection Christian School, we proudly provide ACT and SAT prep courses to ensure your child is prepared for testing. However, there are additional ways to help your high school student prepare. Today we are going to go through some helpful tips to aid in preparation, as well as lower the stress affiliated with testing.

Time Frame

If you’re looking for the optimal time to schedule testing, the best option would be spring of your student’s junior year of high school. Choosing this time frame allows a grace period to retake the test, if they so choose, while still obtaining the maximum amount of schooling. As an added benefit, if the first round of testing ends up better than initially hoped for, then you have it out of the way and even apply to schools earlier.

As far as when you should start looking at studying, once you have decided on a test day, count back a couple months in advance and have your child start there. Make sure you choose a time of day where he will test best, for example, if he is a morning person, scheduling the earlier test time would be most beneficial. Once your student has determined the dates to start studying, have him schedule a weekly amount of time to set aside specifically for the SAT or ACT.

Determining Study Time

It can be very easy to go overboard with studying, or procrastinate until the last minute when it comes to sectioning out study time. One of the keys to ensuring your student won’t burn himself out is to line his current schedule up with his other responsibilities, like extra curricular activities, weekly homework, and any other prior commitments. In the midst of the week, try to section out an hour or so where you can. However, understanding how much study time is enough is the first step you’ll need to determine with your student. So how do you do that exactly? Let us oblige an option.

One of the easiest ways to start to choose the best route is deciding how many practice tests you will want to complete. Each practice test will take around three hours, putting your review time around six hours. Reviewing the practice test will be the most effective way to instill healthy habits for the actual test when it comes. Combing through each problem will help your student understand the layout of the test and develop productive problem solving in preparation.

So if your student is wanting to take the practice test three times before the actual test, factoring in the time for taking the test, as well as the review, will help designate the time necessary to prepare. (For some quick math, each test will take around 9 hours total. To take it three times equates to 27 hours. For 12 weeks of studying, that divides out to just over two hours a week, just for practice test.) Once you have identified how many practice tests your student will want to take, he will be able to add in the additional hours necessary to prepare outside of practice testing. In the case that he feels stressed or not set up with enough time, you can always adjust the test date.

Mind Set

The best way to accurately approach the test and all that it requires for preparation is to treat it like it, in itself, is a class. Have your student schedule out study time and test prep/review time as if he has a mandatory attendance and homework needing to be completed. As a parent, you can also get involved in helping him review his practice tests and studying for the next one. Encourage him to be diligent and abide by his time frames set to focus on the test prep. You can even set up a reward system of sorts to help balance out the intense focus time, such as a new game he wanted, money to spend, or sports equipment.
The results from being intentional on SAT or ACT prep study will reflect the hard work put into it. At Resurrection, we understand the importance of the ACT, and the work that is needed to get the score your student desires. RCS is proud to say our average ACT scores for incoming seniors is over 24. That means we work with your child to help them accomplish the small obstacles to help conquer the larger ones. To learn more about RCS and the passion we have for our students, visit our site. Take a virtual tour, or schedule an appointment to come check out our campus in person. We can’t wait to meet you!