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Suniti's Advice Corner

Good N Crazy Blog Feature: 5 ACT & SAT Study Tips

Posted by Sybil St. Hilaire on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

The TestRocker team recently sat down with Carisa Rogers of Good N Crazy blog to answer questions and share some SAT and ACT study tips. Below please find a few snippets from our feature:

Which test is best for my busy kid? SAT vs ACT?

Both tests require time to prepare. The choice of which test to take really depends on your child’s strengths and weaknesses in test taking.The challenge with the SAT is that questions are not straightforward and there is an emphasis on vocabulary. While the language of ACT questions is more straightforward, the volume of questions is hard to complete in the allotted time.

Daughter girl teen windows 8x phone HTC reviewOther aspects of each test to consider are:

  1. The SAT requires an essay, while this component is optional on the ACT. However many universities require the writing component on the ACT as well, so be sure to check before you opt out of the ACT essay.

  2. The ACT is an opportunity to showcase more analytical skills with the added science and math components, while the SAT has an emphasis on vocabulary and English skills.

  3. ACT has 215 questions plus an optional essay and the SAT has 140 questions plus a required essay.

These are all details to consider for your child and can impact the amount of time he/she spends preparing and getting to a level where they feel comfortable going in to take the test. TestRocker recommends attempting both tests – you never know which test you end up scoring better on! Don’t take the SAT more than 3 times, and the ACT more than twice.

How many times should my kid plan to take one or both tests?

Our recommendation:

  1. SAT should be taken a max of 3 times (1st attempt: Jan or March of junior year. 2nd attempt: March or May/June. 3rd attempt: October of senior year)

  2. ACT should be taken a max of 2 times (1st attempt: Feb or April. 2nd attempt: June or September)

My Daughter has taken the PSAT twice. How does it compare to the real deal and what can we learn from her score?

The PSAT is basically an indicator of your readiness for the SAT as well as college. However know that with preparation, you can definitely get a higher SAT score.What’s different between the SAT and PSAT?

  1. Essay: Although you didn’t have to write an essay on the PSAT, the SAT essay section counts for 1/3 of your Writing score.
  2. Duration: The PSAT is 2 hours & 10 minutes while the SAT is 3 hours & 45 minutes.
  3. Number of Sections: 
- Critical Reading: PSAT – 2, SAT – 3
- Mathematics: PSAT – 2, SAT – 3
- Writing: PSAT – 1, SAT – 3 (including the Essay)
- The SAT also has 1 experimental section (you won’t know which section is experimental) that doesn’t count towards your score.
- Difficulty Level: SAT Math is a bit tougher than PSAT Math. It includes more Algebra II material.
You can learn more about how to decipher the PSAT score etc here

Click here to read our full feature on Good N Crazy Blog 

Image Source: Good N Crazy Blog




Tags: For Parents

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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