Advice to Gifted and Talented Youth 8 – SAT and ACT
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
July 8, 2017
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What can students and parents do to prepare for the SAT, which is becoming less important, and the ACT, which is becoming more important?
Rick Rosner: The SAT is becoming less important because it measures a bunch of skills that are not needed in other areas of school, whereas the ACT tests knowledge that you should be picking up in your class. That’s why, I would guess, there is an increasing preference for the ACT.
For both of them, or either of them, the best thing you can do is to take as many practice tests as you possibly can so that you are as familiar as you can get with the materials and the questions that they will throw at you.
If you can, you should take 12-20 complete practice tests. You don’t have to take them all at once – take them section by section when you have 25 or 30 minutes. You should really end up work. You will gradually see improvement. That strategy is a little more applicable to the SAT. The SAT doesn’t test knowledge as it measure the ability to think on your feet a little bit in SAT terms, whereas the ACT measures knowledge that you picked up in English, Math, Science, and a whole bunch of science and math for taking a whole bunch of ACTs.
If you already have a decent grounding in those subjects, it will at least give you a good picture about the landscape of the knowledge that they’re testing. So, where my advice for the SAT is to take 12-20 practice tests, ACT maybe do half of that and supplement in between the practice tests studying the material that you didn’t get right on each test.
What you didn’t get right should point you in the direction of where you need to study more, what goes along with this is not paying $100/hr times 20 or 30 or 40 hours, or however many hours, for a private tutor, you can get all sorts of feedback from SAT and ACT books on why the correct answers are correct.
You don’t need somebody walking you through everything all of the time. You definitely don’t need somebody sitting there picking up the hourly charges while you take practice tests. You can have a tutor in for an hour or two once a month or every six weeks to help to get you to go through some of the stuff that you got wrong, didn’t understand, or don’t know how to tackle on the tests, but it shouldn’t be a weekly thing.
You should be able to get more taking practice tests than sitting with a tutor going through problems, especially on the SAT. The SAT, it helps if you see thousands of SAT math problems and you know every kind of problem that they throw at you.
You may not be able to solve every one of them, but at least you’ll have an idea about whether you want to skip the problem or not.
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American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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