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College Admission Tests

DIY SAT and ACT Prep

Before you hire an SAT or ACT tutor, it is good for your teen to become familiar with the test by reviewing one of the ACT or SAT web prep programs or books that offer test strategy and practice tests. Students who review that material before starting a prep course or tutoring with a test expert are in a better position to benefit from the experience.

A great strategy is to prep using an online or print resource, take the test to establish a baseline score and then start working with a test expert or take a formal class before taking the test a second time. One word of caution is that students who are less self-directed benefit more from the pre-test review if they do it with another student or someone who will sit with them and go through it with them. 

New SAT Score versus Old SAT Score

Before 2004, a perfect SAT score was 1600. Then the perfect score increased to 2400 when the SAT was revised. The 2004 revision included a critical reading test, a math test and a writing test. Each of the tests had a maximum score of 800 points. 

A perfect score on the New SAT that began in March 5, 2016 is 1600. The New SAT is composed of two elements; a reading and writing test and a math test, each of which is worth up to 800 points. There is also an optional writing test that is not required at most colleges but which some colleges use for placement purposes.

Should I take SAT Subject Tests?

SAT Subject Tests are of value for two reasons. The first benefit is that students who earn a score of between 3 and 5 may receive college credit depending on the score that their college requires in order to grant credit for a particular course. The second benefit is that taking one or more SAT Subject Tests can help a student gain admission to colleges or universities. 

SAT Subject Tests are taken through The College Board. Registration for the tests is done on The College Board website and there is a fee to register.

Getting ready for fall SAT and ACT Testing

This summer is a great time to study for the ACT and SAT tests that will be given in September and October of 2014.

Many students either buy a book off the websites or in the bookstore to study or study on the SAT and ACT websites. Others enroll in a formal SAT test preparation program. An additional step that students can take to get ready is to get extra help in areas where they are weak. 

A good math tutor can help a student with problems in the test prep books and help the student understand any items they get wrong on the sample tests in the book.

What if the SAT test date is a disaster?

Sometimes a student stumbles on SAT test day due to personal illness, family events or another issue. By stumble, I mean real disaster like not finishing most of his test, not being able to concentrate due to stress or not being able to complete items because of an inability to stay awake during the test. Students are not always aware that they can cancel results of an SAT exam. Students may cancel the test on the day of the test and also have until 11:59 pm on the Wednesday following the test to ask that their test results be cancelled.