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Suniti's Advice Corner

Scared of the SAT or ACT?

Posted by Sybil St. Hilaire on Fri, Oct 11, 2013

Scores on the SAT and ACT have been steadily declining. As reported earlier this year by Inside Higher Ed, 2013 ACT scores are at the lowest they have been in the past five years. SAT scores have followed a similar downward trend, plateauing this year after two years of steady declines. With the recent news about student scores it’s no wonder that both students and their parents feel nervous about the test. The key to walking into the test with confidence is addressing the following causes of test-prep fear.

Fear of the Unknown

Many students can recall how nervous they were the first time they sat down to take the SAT or ACT. The SAT/ACT is one of the few times that students will be asked to sit and take a test for 3+ hours. These tests are made even more stressful because they test for material in ways that are not intuitive to most students.

Conquer this fear by:

    1. Visiting your testing center ahead of time to get familiar with your testing environment
    2. Remembering to bring layers and a snack with you on test day to increase your level of comfort in an unfamiliar environment.
    3. Familiarizing yourself with the test's content and test-taking strategies before taking practice tests. Practice will then allow you to build the stamina, speed, and time management skills you need to do well! 

Fear of Bad Scores

Everyone has a fear of failure. For high school students failure can be as simple as getting a “good score” that falls short of their target score. According to a College Board study, students across a number of GPA ranges fall at least 300 points short of their expected SAT score. The fear students have of not doing as well on the SAT/ACT is legitimate.

Conquer this fear by:

    1. Preparing sufficiently for your chosen college admissions exam. If you are not quite sure where to start, take our free assessment and schedule a personal consultation to figure out your strengths and weaknesses and how to conquer them.

Fear of the changing definition of a “Good Score”

This year US News and World Reports changed their college rankings methodology. The importance of class ranking was reduced and the importance of SAT and ACT scores increased. This was done in order to reflect the change in the weight that the colleges themselves were placing on test scores. 

Conquer this fear by:

    1. Doing your research for each of the school’s on your list. Use resources like the Fiske Guide and school-specific websites to find out the SAT or ACT score range for the previous year’s accepted applicants.

Want to learn more about how TestRocker takes the fright out of the SAT/ACT? Not sure whether you should take the SAT or ACT? Download our flyer to figure it out!

Tags: For Students, For Parents, For Counselors

About Suniti

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Suniti is the creator of TestRocker, an online learning platform that helps you unlock your dream PSAT, SAT and ACT scores. TestRocker is based on Suniti’s highly successful and proven method of teaching thousands of students how to maximize their PSAT, SAT and ACT scores for over a decade.

TestRocker is an award-winning PSAT/SAT/ACT program that empowers students to take control of their test preparation. After taking a diagnostic test, students receive a customized study plan, individualized to their strengths/weaknesses. Students practice and learn concepts through videos. Each of the 2000+ questions on TestRocker is accompanied by a video explanation from Suniti. TestRocker has the largest video library in the world for PSAT/SAT/ACT preparation. 

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