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It is officially testing season here at John A. Ferguson High School where our Falcons are getting ready to take different exams including the SAT and ACT for Juniors and Seniors. Here are several tips which may be found beneficial in helping you pass these tests with a high score.

Before the Test:

  • Take Multiple Timed Practice Tests

In order to be aware of the areas that you are struggling in, you should take at least one practice test before you begin any studying. This will allow you to know which sections you have mastered, and which ones you should review. Then, after you have completed all your studying, take approximately two or three more timed practice tests weeks or even months before the major exam in order to be accustomed to the format and timing of the test. Therefore, you would already know what to expect for this type of test and you would also have the opportunity to practice your time management skills.

  • Do Not Cram All the Information

If you consistently study almost on a daily basis a small portion from all the material you need to be knowledgeable of for the exam, then it could be less challenging to remember all the topics you need all in one night.

  • Relax the Night Before the Test

Stress may cause you to forget all the information you studied, therefore you need to take a deep breath, and only review the main topics. Just know that you have done the best you could to get the highest score possible. Get a good night sleep and then the morning of the exam, have breakfast so you have the energy you need during the test.

  • Create a Study Schedule

You should plan a schedule which goes according to your needs, so that you can plan which days you need to study and for how long. Setting a goal is extremely useful when studying. Thus, SMART Goal Setting is well known for helping students accomplish certain objectives.


S (Specific) → What exactly would you want to achieve?

M (Meaningful) → What is motivating you?

A (Action Orientated) → What steps do you need to take?

R (Realistic) → Set a standard which is possible for you to reach.

T (Timely) → When do you want to achieve this by?

  • Study the Main Concepts

Study the topics that you know will appear most on the test so that you can gain as many points as possible. Then, if you have spare time, you should go over the other topics which may or may not be on the exam, but you should be knowledgeable on these concepts as well, just in case you receive some questions about it.

  • Utilize Free Resources

There are a variety of websites and applications which can help you prepare for these significant exams. For example, a phone application known as SAT Practice is extremely useful, due to providing you with daily questions that you can answer to help you gain the practice you need. Moreover, this application can also scan the answers of practice tests you have taken, and score them. Ultimately, the SAT Practice Application provides you with specific videos from the website called Khan Academy based on the areas that you are having difficulty.

  • Go to Tutoring/Get Help from Instructor

If you are ever having trouble with a specific topic, you should speak to your teacher, they would be glad to assist you. However, if you need extra help, then you should attend tutoring after school in order to learn new lessons or reinforce yourself in certain areas.

  • Work Your Memory

These exams are extremely important, therefore you would need to memorize certain techniques and formulas to answer questions. Fortunately, the SAT Test provides the students with a list of formulas, but the ACT Test requires you to remember all the material you need for the exam.

  • Increase Vocabulary

In order to complete the exam with ease, you will need to increase your vocabulary. Consequently, if there is a word that you do not understand in the instructions, a passage, or a word problem, then your score may be affected. There may be several questions which will ask you to write the definition, synonym, and antonym of a specific word. If you are not familiar with a certain term, you should use context clues to have a brief and clear understanding of it.

During the Test:

  • Fill in All the Answers in the Bubble Sheet

Although you might not have the time to finish, never leave any question blank. If you do not know what to write, then put the most reasonable answer. Hence, if you realize there is little time left and you still have multiple questions to go through, then bubble in a random letter, because remember that you receive no penalties for any wrong answers, thus there is the possibility that you might have had several right answers from the ones you guessed on.

  • Eliminate Answers That You Know Are Wrong

If you do not know the answer to a question, do not panic. Primarily, you should reread the question and the choices you are provided with. After that, get rid of the choices that you know are wrong, and then from the remaining choices that you are left with, you would need to decide which one relates the most with the question.

  • Skip Questions That Give You Difficulty

If there is a certain question which is extremely troublesome for you, then you should skip it, and move on, so that you have the time to complete as many questions as you can. If you spend too much time on one specific question, then you will be distracting yourself from the other activities you must finish.

  • Review Questions

Although the test is time-limited, try to review the most questions you possibly can, so that you can receive a high score. Thus, you should review the questions that have the most value, because if you miss these points, you may be influenced in a drastic manner.

  • If You Are Retaking the Test, Be Realistic

There are many students who retake these type of exams in order to improve their score. Before you retake it, you should take into consideration the risks you are taking, and after that, you need to realize whether it is worth it or not. You should be realistic about your standards, so that you do not set them that high, because if you do not reach them, then you would be disappointed.

After the Test:

  • Have a Fun Activity Planned

After you have taken the test, realize that you have done the best you could. You should forget about the exam and have a moment to enjoy yourself after all that studying. Therefore, you should plan an entertaining activity with some family or friends.

Exams, in general, can be extremely overwhelming and nerve-wracking, but you need to maintain control and study the most you possibly can without getting stressed.

Do your best and good luck!

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