Five Step Guide to Prepare for Standardized Tests


Coming into high school, there are many new things that students are faced with. New classes, new building, new subjects, and new levels of difficulty. High school includes important standardized tests that  determine where you go after you graduate, the ACT and the SAT tests. Though these are tests taken during junior and senior year, it is never too early to begin preparing yourself for them.

It is important to know how to approach these tests, how to study for them, and survive them. Here is a guide to these the SAT and ACT. The ACT and SAT are standardized tests that cause a large amount of stress, more so than any other standardized test students are faced with in their educational career. The potential impact that these tests can have on a student’s features is known by many students.

Step 1: Gather Information

Because of this potential impact that it can have on an individual’s future education, it is important to know what the test entails.  Familiarize yourself with the different sections of the two tests by talking to teachers, those who have taken it recently, or the internet, from there you can gather what information you will need to know come test day.

Step 2: Prepare

Once you know what will be on the tests, it is time to begin preparing, studying if you will. There are numerous ways that you can prepare. There are classes available through many different programs, some through schools, but there are other options. Some classes may be more helpful than others, it is just a matter of finding the right class, or series of classes for you.

Classes are not the only way that you can use to prepare for these tests, there are many books that you can buy that will provide you with similar test taking tips and practice tests to what you would get from a class. Another option is to hire a private tutor who specializes in preparing students to take the ACT and SAT. Though it may cost a little bit more money, private tutors are able to focus on you, and “cater” to your needs to better prepare you for the test.

Step 3: Take

Junior and senior year will roll around faster than you think. Soon enough it will be time for you to take the ACT/SAT. Chances are you will begin with the school administered ACT, but  that will not be the end of it. Though it is important to do well, it is also important not to panic if the tests do not go as planned, or you don’t know something. Try your best on the tests, read instructions thoroughly, and answer questions to the best of your ability. Use strategies you have learned through your preparation to eliminate answers and take the different sections. Take deep breaths when you begin to feel nervous while testing and know that you can always give the test another shot.

Step 4: Receive and Review Results

Once you have taken the test, the hard part is out of the way. Within around three to eight weeks you will receive your test results. You will be able to see your score, your separate section scores, as well as what questions you missed.

Step 5: If needed, repeat.

It is possible that you may not be satisfied with your results, you may want a higher score, or think that you can do better. If this is the case, it is possible to retake the tests up to 12 times, although most students will only retake them three times at most. Using your past tests, and alternate preparation methods, you can prepare yourself for the next test date. You can repeat this process until you are satisfied with your score.


Don’t be afraid to take both tests. Though it will mean more hours spent testing, you will never know whether the ACT or SAT will give you the best results.