SAT & ACT PREPARATION
We have been helping students navigate through the SAT and ACT process for over 14 years. Now that every college accepts both tests, it has become increasingly important to determine which test might better suit each student. Through our personalized guidance and in-depth knowledge of each test, students from schools throughout Westchester County, nearby Connecticut and Putnam Counties have gained confidence and improved their test scores at College Planning of Westchester.
Both tests have seen significant changes over the past few years. The SAT had a major rewrite, while the ACT has changed certain components of their test "quietly". It is more important than ever to work with test prep professionals who thoroughly understand the intricacies of these tests and their changes, while having the experience to adapt their sessions accordingly. While we always try to pinpoint the appropriate test for each student, we can also prepare them to take both tests if they so choose.
The SAT test more closely resembles the ACT with more classroom-based questions in line with the common core. Although there is not a unique science section, there are now science elements throughout the test. The essay is optional and is 50 minutes in length, twice as long as before. Our track record shows average increases on the SAT of between 120 and 250 points.
With the introduction of the new SAT, the two tests have become more similar. One of the ongoing challenges faced by ACT test takers is the ability to complete each section in the allotted time. The ACT has recently changed its optional essay format and it is now 40 minutes long. Our track record shows average increases of 3-4 points on the ACT.
HOW TO PERFORM BETTER UNDER PRESSURE
Do they understand when they are studying, but underperform when it comes to the big test or SAT/ACT?
Dealing well with pressure is critical to success in school, sports, and life.
We are excited to offer a new online, self-paced course that can help both parents and students:
- Challenge the myth that people perform better under pressure
- Get rid of the negative effects of pressure
- Learn strategies that help to reduce pressure
NEW PSAT RESULTS
Students recently received their October 2018 PSAT results and will be able to view their scores online at the College Board site. When students log in, they will be able to see their scores for the whole test as well as the breakdown for individual problems.
For the student that had already decided to take the ACT, a good PSAT score can raise the question of whether they should switch completely to the SAT or add it to their plan.
One factor that parents should consider is the timing of the various tests. In other words, if the student had a lot of prep since the October test, then the PSAT may be showing abilities that were early in the process. Overall, this "lag time" needs to be remembered prior to making a directional decision.
The College Board just revised their PSAT document to help explain the test results. Click here to view College Board doc Even for an experienced professional, it takes a while to wade through.
top 3 questions asked by parents
- Should I take the ACT or the SAT? Why?
- When should they take their actual SAT or ACT test?
- How many practice tests should they take?