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Throughout high school, it is very difficult to manage your time with studying for tests, applying to colleges, and most of all studying for the SAT/ACT to get a good score. It is often a scary and intimidating process of preparing for standardized testing, so I am here to give you the best tips and tricks to best prepare yourself for success on this dreaded test.

In terms of deciding on whether to take the SAT or the ACT, I would recommend taking a practice test for both tests to see which test you feel more comfortable with and which you get a better score on. You can often find practice tests to take on Khan Academy and the College Board website. If you are too lazy to take a practice test, trust me, I get it. I will explain what each test consists of and you can decide which sounds more suitable for you.

Unlike the SAT, the ACT covers a wider variety of mathematical problems like trigonometric functions and logarithms. If you feel your strong suit in school is math and science then the ACT might be for you. The ACT has a science section that the SAT section does not have, but you do not exactly need to know science in order to do well on the section; you just need to be able to do well in data analysis and answer questions about certain graphs. One negative factor of the ACT that some people find difficult is that the time you have per section is a little shorter so it is frustrating when you do not finish the section since it can have an impact on your score. A recommendation for the reading section would be to skim the section very quickly, and then start answering the questions and if you need to refer back to the passage, you can do so. A recommendation for the science section can also be to just start answering the questions and if you need to refer back to the graphs, the question will tell you to.

The SAT seems to be very popular among high school students because of the extra time given per section, which can be very beneficial for your score. The SAT is definitely more English based than math, so if this is your strong suit, then the SAT might be for you. Another benefit of the SAT is that the math section gives you all the formulas you will need for finding areas, volumes, perimeters, and more. This a major plus since it can be hard at times to memorize those pesky formulas. Unlike the ACT, the SAT has one more section in reading so it is important to pace yourself and make sure you are not spending too much time on one section. A recommendation if you are stuck on a couple problems would be to move on and come back to them if you have time later. The English section of the SAT is probably the shortest timed section for the amount of questions, so make sure you are quickly going through each question so you do not run out of time.

With these tips to succeed on your SAT/ACT, you will definitely increase your score, but it is also important that you study practice problems. Good luck and happy testing!


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