Based on research, the average effects of SAT prep or coaching are small; however, students who participated in some type of preparation on their own did better than those who did nothing. Instead of taking the SAT six times or spending excessive funds on private tutoring, using that time to pursue extracurricular activities or academic interests may go further in helping a student get noticed by admissions officers.
During senior year it is recommended that all girls take the October or November SAT Reasoning Test or the September or October ACT. Senior year scores are often a little higher than junior year scores.
The SAT is one of two standardized tests that colleges use as an entrance exam. It is based on a possible score of 1600 and tests students in these areas: Critical Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.
The ACT test can best be explained as another "brand" of college entrance examination. Some students find that they score better on the ACT than on the SAT, as it assesses school subject-based material. The exam is divided into four parts: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning. The ACT includes an optional Writing test, which Students should always opt to complete when they sit for the ACT.
According to recent studies, approximately one third of students who take both tests score better on the ACT, one third of students score in the same range, and one third of students score worse. It yields one composite score ranging from 1-36. The ACT is given six times during the school year.
Eligibility for Non-Standard Testing (Extended-time testing)
Information about accommodations for non-standard testing is available at the SAT or ACT websites. Students who are eligible for extended-time testing should notify the Director of Academic Services.
SAT/ACT prep courses
There are a number of ways to prepare for the SAT or ACT. Some involve only the investment of time on the student's part, while others are quite costly. Students generally "feel" better when they have participated in some preparation; they may take sample tests or purchase one of the many test preparation books on the market (available in any bookstore). Something students should keep in mind: a solid academic performance over four years in high school will be more impressive to a college admissions professional than an extra 40 points on the SAT.