Don’t Study for the SAT or the ACT Like This

August 30, 2016

How do experts and students come up with lists of tips and advice for the SAT and the ACT?

It’s because they’ve all been through it before, and have tried techniques that didn’t result in a good score. With years of experience, experts and even students themselves, are able to weigh in on what’s actually helpful, and what simply doesn’t work.

Here are 4 studying techniques that hasn’t worked for others before:

1. Just memorizing Vocabulary Words

Vocabulary used to be a huge part of the SAT and was a main focus for many college applicants. With the change in the SAT format, many have said that vocabulary is no longer a huge factor. However, it is definitely still part of the studying plan for many high school juniors and seniors. Remember - while it’ll certainly be helpful with comprehending all the words in the SAT, it won’t be enough.

2. Only Taking Practice Tests

The SAT and the ACT are both manageable exams. What that means is there’s a strategy to taking them. Neither of them are completely knowledge based. So, it’s not helpful for you to keep taking practice test after practice test just to familiarize yourself with it. You need to understand why you’re getting them wrong, and what the relevant concepts are in order to tackle each section.

3. Cramming the Week Of

While some studying is better than no studying at all, it is not wise to wait until the week of the SAT or the ACT to start studying for it. Unlike the exams you have taken in school, SAT and the ACT are not knowledge based exams. There’s more logic and strategy and requires students to set aside time to get used to and learn how to manage.

4. Starting Too Early

College admissions is extremely competitive. It’s getting increasingly harder to get into the top 50 universities, let alone the Ivy League schools. This does not mean studying freshman year of high school will get you better scores. Plan for a specific test date in mind and study accordingly. There’s no need to study just for the sake of preparing for a test you’ll eventually have to take.

Need help studying for the SAT and the ACT? Use Green Test Prep, an online SAT prep platform, to help improve your score.

Anthony-James Green, called “America’s Top SAT Tutor” by Business Insider, is renowned as the best SAT and ACT tutor in the industry. After working with over 450 students one-on-one, and thousands more through Green Test Prep, his online SAT and ACT program, Green has helped to raise students’ scores by an average of 346+ points on the SAT and 4.6+ points on the ACT. His work has been featured everywhere from The New York Times and CNN to FOX Business and Good Morning America. Learn more about Anthony.



Browse Successful Application Files

dorszy
MIT ‘20


Accepted to MIT, Princeton, Duke, Stanford, UGA, GA Tech, UNC

I'm a current sophomore at MIT who loves all sorts of things: from engineering and biology to music and dance.
BrownDomer
Notre Dame ‘20


Accepted to BU, Emory, Swarthmore, Notre Dame

Hello! I'm an international student from Ethiopia and I'll be majoring in Biology. I'd love to share all the tips and tricks I've learned from my rather unique college application experience with you!
alm25
UT Austin ‘19


Accepted to UC Berkeley, USC, UMich, Illinois, UT Austin, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCSD, UCSB, U of Minnesota, Arizona, WVU, Cal Poly, San Jose State

I'm from the SF Bay Area, but I'm betraying my roots by attending The University of Texas at Austin as a chemical engineering major. I like music, science and eating!
niathuravil
Rutgers ‘20


Accepted to Rutgers, NYU, Fordham, UMass, Colorado, MSU, Illinois, Arizona, Washington

Your local political astronaut with a passion for the prolific things in life.

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