The Most Common SAT & ACT Prep Mistake, and How to Address It


The number one mistake in preparing for the SAT & ACT

Here’s a scenario students, educators, and parents alike can imagine. You’re preparing to give a presentation. You create your slides, make note cards, and think about what you’re going to say. You don’t do a run-through because you’re very confident with the content of your presentation, and are certain that you can answer any question thrown at you. The big day rolls around. You start your presentation, and everything is great. But then, only two slides in, you start to realize one very important hitch: you’re giving a 60-minute presentation in a 30-minute time block. Whoops.

The same problem arises with SAT and ACT prep. Students complete practice questions, work through lessons, take daily quizzes, and more. Too few, however, remember the cardinal rule of test prep.

You cannot separate the content of the SAT or the ACT from the time allotted to deal with it.

Read that twice or even three times through; it’s that important. Students can seemingly improve their skills significantly by taking incomplete sections and practicing with untimed problems and passages, only to see very little change in their scores because they never took a full, timed exam before sitting for the real thing. This is a very common and very costly mistake. The ability to solve even the most difficult math problems and understand the most advanced literary texts means little if it is not fostered under restricted time. Furthermore, the fatigue that comes from sitting for a four-hour exam very quickly sets in for students who haven’t prepared for it. (And yes, despite their purported run times, these exams invariably last at least four hours when administrative tasks and breaks are factored in.) 

So how does Method Test Prep help solve this problem? In both its SAT and ACT self-paced programs, MTP provides two full-length, timed exams that students can take to get used to working for extended periods under time pressure. Even if your school doesn’t take advantage of our paper-based practice test service, you can use Method Test Prep to administer digital tests to your students to give them the experience they need to excel on the SAT or ACT.

Does your school subscribe to Method Test Prep's self-paced, comprehensive SAT/ACT prep program? If the answer is "no", why not get started with a free trial today?

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