Before you begin any test prep program, you need to identify which test is the best match for you: the SAT or the ACT. Then, determine how you best
learn. The colleges really do not care which you submit, so it just doesn't make any sense to prep for the SAT if the ACT is a better test for you.
If you do not learn well in group situations, then taking a class with 30 others is not going to help you. If you do not learn well on your own, then buying a test
prep book and thinking you'll do it yourself is not going to help.
The SAT or the ACT?
I like to use this analogy for the two tests: Think of your mind as a balloon. The ACT measure how much air you currently have in your balloon. It favors
students who can easily go from A to B to C in a systematic manner. The SAT measures what your maximum capacity is for your balloon and rewards students who can jump from A to C without having to
stop at B along the way.
But how do you know which test is the better one for you? There are two ways to find out.
1. If you have taken both the PLAN and the PSAT, you can compare your results. The scoring is very different on the two tests, but you can compare your percentiles.
Let's say you scored in the 87th percentile on the PLAN Reading component and the 78th percentile on the PSAT Critical Reading. Clearly on this one component the ACT is the better test for
2) If you haven't taken both of these pre-tests, then you need to take a practice exam for each one. Here's how to do that.
A) Go into your school's guidance department and ask for a practice copy of each exam. Always prep with real College Board and ACT exams. Simulated exams are no
substitute for the real thing.
B) Take the practice ACT. You don't have to do it all in one setting. Just do one section at a time.
C) Upload your answers to my online Test Prep program. The program will score your test, but more importantly it will analyze your answers to determine your strengths
D) Repeat steps 2-3 for the SAT.
I will provide you with an ACT-SAT Conversion Chart so that you can directly compare your results. Once you have this information, you're ready to begin your test
prep in earnest, clearly focused on the one test that gives you the best chance of scoring at your optimum level.