6 Tips for Studying for the SAT and ACT

To get a high score on your SAT or ACT, you need to study well for the test. With a high average, you can be assured of getting into your preferred college or university. You will have better chances of getting a good scholarship grant as well when you get an impressive score.

Following the right studying tips and techniques will help you get the best score on your SAT or ACT exam. Below are some of the most useful tips and strategies you should keep in mind when preparing for your upcoming test:

1.    Choose the right test preparation class

When selecting which prep class to take, think about which test you will be taking first: is it the SAT or ACT? Although both tests are designed to evaluate your readiness to go to college, they differ in terms of content and purpose.

Next, think about how much help you need to study for the exam. You can use an ACT and SAT test prep diagnostic tool first to get an idea of what subjects and topics you need to brush up on.

Lastly, consider your learning style: are you comfortable studying with a group? If not, you will benefit more from choosing a one-on-one tutorial and review class.

2.    Make a daily study schedule

If you are an athlete or involved in various extracurricular activities, create a daily study schedule to ensure you will get some revision work done every day. Next, make it a habit to read and understand some parts of the review materials given to you.

By following this tip, you will be sure to get familiar with all the topics that will be covered during the test. This will also help you avoid cramming in the long run.

3.    Practice active learning

When you actively engage with the material you are studying, you will improve both your memory and comprehension.

Here are some active learning strategies you can try while reviewing for your SAT or ACT:

  • Come up with your own questions or problems based on the materials and answer them.
  • Identify patterns, and cause and effect relationships.
  • Create and understand the connections between topics.

4.    Acknowledge your weaknesses

As you go over the materials, take note of the topics you don’t understand.

Make sure you ask the tutor to provide additional explanations for these. If you still cannot grasp the concept fully, don’t be afraid to approach the tutor to get more details, and do some research on your own. All the additional information you will obtain will ultimately help you fully understand the topic.

However, don’t make the mistake of focusing only on your weaknesses and not reviewing or ignoring the topics you already know. To get a high score, you also have to go over the materials you are comfortable or familiar with, and pay close attention to details that are easy to overlook.

5.    Take practice tests

One of the benefits of taking up an SAT or ACT prep class is that you will be given mock exams. These practice tests simulate testing conditions as accurately as possible.

Through these practice exams, you get to learn what parts of the test are most challenging. You can then work on improving perceived weaknesses on your own and with the help of your instructor.

Another benefit of taking practice tests is that you will be familiar with the instructions, format, and content of the exam. Since you already know what to expect, you won’t have to spend a lot of time understanding the instructions. You will then get a few extra minutes to spend on answering questions.

6.    Be sure to take breaks when studying

Take a 10 or 15-minute break after studying a material for an hour. If you feel hungry, eat something healthy such as fresh fruits and veggies. It is best to avoid junk food if you are reviewing since they are devoid of nutrients, and won’t do anything to help your brain.

During your breaks, try to get some exercise in by running in place or doing a few jumping jacks. Exercising will increase blood flow to the brain which, in turn, will boost your productivity. These exercises can also help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.

By taking up an SAT or ACT prep course, developing an effective study plan and following it, you are off to a good start in preparing for the actual test and getting an outstanding score.


MaloyBurman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building a solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.