SAT and ACT – Not As Tough As You Think!
There’s a common misconception that the ACT and SAT are difficult because they contain challenging topics or concepts. Frankly, this is untrue. Quick quiz: what’s the highest level of math on these two tests? Trig, you say? Well you’re wrong! And you’re right, sort of. There is zero trig on the SAT. The highest math on the SAT is Algebra II, and it’s very basic. The ACT does have some trig, however. How much? Four questions. Out of 60! And most likely it’s basic SOHCAHTOA, remember that? Sine equals opposite over hypotenuse? For those who don’t remember, I assure you it’s not very difficult. Long story short, these two tests contain only a few, very basic math concepts.
And how about English? Do you understand basic punctuation? Most of us do. So, that just leaves some of the less common punctuation rules to worry about and there aren’t many. I could list all of the punctuation rules you need to know in about 2 minutes. Ok, so if punctuation is pretty straightforward then the grammar must be tough, right? Again, not very tough. Yesterday, I write a blog post about this very thing. Catch the mistake? Yeah, they throw a few tougher ones on there, but if you relearn a few grammar rules you’re good to go.
Oh, but the science section . . . . I stink at science! I got a C in biology and forget about chemistry! Guess what, that doesn’t matter! The science section of the ACT shouldn’t even be called the science section, really. It should be called “Reading Part II: Tables and Graphs.” Can you read a basic table or graph? Of course you can!
So, if the material isn’t hard, why do so many students struggle on the tests? The answer is pretty simple: there’s limited time and the writers of the tests have developed ways to make easy questions seem difficult. With the proper training, any student can begin to overcome these two obstacles and improve his or her scores.
So, where do you get that training? There are a few ways to go about preparing for these tests, but the best method is to find a trusted, experienced test prep organization and work one on one with one of their instructors.
Other options: schools often offer something for their students, online programs, Craigslist, purchase prep books and work on your own. All of these have the potential to be effective, and I would recommend researching your options. Of course, if you have any questions we’re happy to help!
Found and President – Peak Learning Solutions