My SAT and ACT Experience: Advice from a Brown University student

July 05, 2014

The SAT and ACT are intimidating - believe us, we know!  But getting advice from students who have already been through it can help you to prepare better and most of all, to prepare smarter.  Zach attends Brown University and told us about his experience with the SAT and ACT, including his advice for you.


I took the SAT twice and the ACT once.  The first time I took the SAT was in the fall of my junior year. I didn’t have any tutoring but I wanted to take the real test to get a feel for it and see what my baseline was. I did very well and my reading and writing scores from that test were the ones I sent to colleges. I then used a private tutor just for the math section. With two months of tutoring and practice work my math score went up 100 points.

I took the ACT right after I took the SAT for the second time. Many people do significantly better on one test than another so I wanted to try both out. The content of the ACT is similar enough that my studying consisted of just a few practice tests to get a feel for the very different format. I ended up getting a similar score, percentile wise, and submitted both tests.

I found the tutoring for the math section extremely helpful. My tutor was able to pinpoint the few concepts I was really struggling with, and help me figure them out. The biggest thing that helped me though was staying calm under pressure. I didn’t freak out before the tests or try to cram. The relaxed state of mine helped me focus and improve my scores.


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USC ‘19

Accepted to USC, UMich, Northwestern, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Swarthmore, CMU, NYU, Vassar, Reed, Kenyon, UC Davis, Syracuse, CU, Fordham, Santa Clara, CSU Chico, CSUF, UC Riverside , UCSB, UCSC, Bard

Theater/business double major from classic and online highschool background. Here to help navigate audition and business interview processes! On full tuition scholarship
NYU ‘19

Accepted to NYU, BU, Ohio State

Chicago-->Cincinnati-->New York City. Dancer. Rower. Volunteer. Future Teacher.
Vanderbilt ‘18

Accepted to Baruch, Binghamton, Brooklyn College, Hunter, Macaulay Honors, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, UPenn, Brown, Cornell, SUNY Buffalo, Rice, Vanderbilt, NYU, Columbia

I grew up in New York City, Bronx and Brooklyn to be exact. I went to pretty big public schools and once you find a supportive yet motivating group of friends, teachers, advisors, and counselors to complement your family, life becomes a whole lot better!
Columbia ‘19

Accepted to Columbia

I'm a student at Columbia. I love writing, activism, terrible jokes, and binge-watching Netflix. Aspiring English teacher.

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