As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect! And it’s especially true when it comes to the SAT and ACT exams. The more practice tests you take, the higher you will ultimately score. That’s why my online program, WilsonDailyPrep, asks students to tackle 6 questions per day, 5 days a week (I know how badly my stressed-out students need their weekend downtime!). This daily practice keeps students engaged in test prep in manageable amounts, reinforcing important concepts and tricky vocabulary words while building test-taking skills.
Once students have a good handle on the daily questions, it’s important that they sit for a full practice exam. I know schedules are tight and the idea of taking a 4 hour SAT or 3 hour ACT isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of fun (except mine, maybe!) but this dry-run of test day is imperative. This dry run tests stamina and the ability to concentrate for an extended period of time. Just as you wouldn’t run a marathon without significant practice, you shouldn’t go into test day without being prepared.
When you take your practice test, try to mimic exam conditions as much as possible. Sit in a hard chair, not your cushy couch (you need to experience fanny fatigue!). Take the test in a quiet room – your school library is a great choice – and don’t forget to turn off your cell phone. Make sure you eat enough to make it through but not so much that it makes you sluggish – just like you’ll need to do on exam day. Take 10 minute breaks after completing 3 sections in a row. Most importantly, keep an eye on the time and don’t go over the time allotment. And finally, make sure you review the answers once the test is corrected and go over anything you got wrong. (If you are a WilsonDailyPrep student, our experts can really help when it comes to reviewing your practice exams and figuring out which areas need more help. Just email your coach!) I recommend taking at least 3 full practice exams before the real thing. We can provide the full exams for free – just ask!