How to study for the SAT or ACT using test prep books

notebook, pen, and calculatorUsually SAT or ACT test prep books have key concepts and test-taking strategies that you should be sure you study. They are likely at the beginning of the book so you could look through those first.

After you’ve reviewed and practiced the various concepts, take a practice test. Go to a quiet place and time yourself and only allow yourself the materials you would have at the test site (lined paper, calculator, equation sheet...).

When you're done taking the test, calculate your score and see which areas you could improve on. Do you need to learn more vocabulary? Was geometry a weak spot? Do you just need to work faster? Make sure that you understand why you either picked the right or wrong answer for each question. You can't really take that test again because you already know the answers for some of them. Now that you know which areas you need to work on, you can focus your studying on those particular areas.

So keep studying the tips and taking practice tests until you are comfortable with the time constraints and are satisfied with your scores. You should also practice writing essays with sample topics. You won't be able to grade them, but you'll at least give yourself practice writing a coherent essay in the time allotted. If you can, have a parent, friend, or teacher look at least one of them over to see if there's anything you could improve.


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