Survival guide to the SAT/ACT


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mutiple choice SAT

On April 5, the Junior class at Central will be required to take a state mandated SAT test. SAT stands for the Scholastic Assessment Test and is used for college admissions to measure the academic potential and readiness upon entrance to a university.

Until this year Illinois supplied high schools with the ACT test instead of the SAT. The College Board however won a three-year, $14.3 million bid to give its exam to all public high school juniors in Illinois. The College Board is in charge of providing the SAT and also AP exams.

As a Junior I remember the stress of taking these standardized tests, in my case it was the ACT, but these eleven tips are easily transferable.

  1. Remember to sleep. The test is extremely long and they breaks they give you in between pretty much seem pointless so a good eight hour sleep will do you well.
  2. The answers to the reading section are in the reading passages. The SAT test creators can not give you reading questions if the answers are not in the reading, it’s like asking you a question on Hamlet when you read Othello.
  3. Try substituting in the answers to math questions. If you have no idea how to solve a math question take the given answers and try to work them into the problem. If that does not work, use process of elimination.
  4. During grammar read the given sentence in your head. If the sentence does not flow right in your head then it is probably not correct. Make sure you pause at commas and semicolons.
  5. A semicolon is used to create two complete sentences. If there is not a verb creating a complete thought on each side of the semicolon, then the semicolon is incorrect.
  6. Pay attention to the little details in the reading. They will ask you what color Sally’s dress was and I promise you the 30 seconds it takes for you to find the answer is a waste.
  7. The science section is all graph and experimental study analysis. The SAT does not care if you know that know the make up of sulfoxide (which is sulfur and oxygen)
  8. Know your basic grammar rules. Grammar isn’t hard, but it’s good to review those third grade grammar rules.
  9. Bring multiple pencils and a calculator. Don’t be that kid. No one likes that kid.
  10. Bring a snack. Believe it or not, during that last section of the test you will be begging your friend for a bite of their granola bar.
  11. Check your seat/room number and be on time. Arriving early is actually better.

Don’t get too stressed when taking these standardized tests, because you can take them again. Colleges look at the overall package not just one test score.