There are five things you need to know about long term PSAT-SAT-ACT preparation. It is as easy as A-E-I-O-U: You need to have Awareness, start Early, make it an Iterative process, take the tests Often, and Understand how the raising your scores can help you get into the college of your choice and help you secure better college funding.
•PSAT is geared to 11th graders and offered in OCTOBER ONLY. Anyone can take it and you register at your local school. The PSAT is used to qualify students for National Merit Scholarship competition. 6th – 10th graders should take it for practice.
•There is a wealth of information on the CollegeBoard.com and ACT.org website. Students and parents should sign up for the information they provide.
•Start in 6th grade for practice – take PSAT in October for practice and take 1 SAT and 1 ACT for practice per year through Middle School.
•The Duke Talent Identification Program is available for qualifying 7th graders. Check with your school for information on this. They usually test for this in the 6th grade.
•In the 9th – 10th take the PSAT for practice in October for practice, and 2 SATs and 2 ACTs for practice per year.
•Take a heavy duty prep course the summer between grades 10 and 11.
•In the 11th grade, take the PSAT for record in October and 2 SATs and 2 ACTs for record. The goal is wrap up a good score by the end of the junior year.
•In the 12th grade, take tests as needed.
•The more you take the tests, the more you gain Test Maturity – become more confident and competent with the tests.
•Even the SAT people have said you could gain 50 points per SAT through experience.
•Gain experience first, and then gain expertise. We really want you to have a few tests under your belt before you start any hard core prep.
•Training will be easier because you understand the test and it will be faster to focus on improving instead of digging out the basics of each test.
•Take the tests often.
•You can take the SAT and PSAT an unlimited number of times and take the ACT up to 12 times.
•Many colleges award scholarships for SAT/ACT scores alone.
•Higher scores can overcome mediocre grades.
•The best Diagnostic is to take the real test under real test conditions.
The best long term approach is to start early gaining experience and polish with expertise later. The BEST DIAGNOSTIC is the REAL test taken in a REAL environment. Take ALL the tests: PSAT, ACT, and SAT.