If you have a student planning to take the ACT or SAT, we recommend starting the test preparation process well in advance! Here are some of the many benefits of taking an ACT/SAT Practice Test.
1. Test taking skills. When we refer to “test taking skills” we aren’t talking about a student’s academic knowledge, but rather how comfortable they are with taking a test itself. Test taking skills are important to master – for example, leaving difficult questions until the end and completing the “easy” ones first allows a student to maximize their score when working against the clock. Test-taking skills are absolutely crucial when it comes to both time management during a test and reducing exam stress! When taking practice tests, students are able to hone these valuable skills without the pressures of a “real” exam.
2. Test familiarity. Both the ACT and SAT have different formats. Taking a practice test is, hands-down, the best way to get a feel for each of these tests, their format, and what students will be expected to know and demonstrate on the test. Both exams contain multiple sections with a designated time allotment for each, but they also differ in several ways. For example – the ACT has a dedicated science section, whereas the SAT does not. A practice test is a good way for your student to feel more comfortable with the exam they are planning to take!
3. Identifying challenge areas. Taking a practice test is an excellent way for students to recognize which sections (or subjects) they need to work on a bit more to be as successful as possible with the actual exam. Rather than spending excessive time preparing for the entire exam in great depth, students should focus on the specific areas that could use the most improvement (as indicated by their practice test score). Practice tests often provide detailed answer keys specifying question “types” (problem solving, reasoning, vocabulary, etc.), and a trained test-prep tutor can help pinpoint the question “types” and specific subject content that need practice before your student sits the actual exam.
4. Cost efficiency. Both the SAT and ACT charge students a fee each time they sit the exam. Current rates are listed below:
- SAT Registration Fee: $55 USD (College Board, 2022)
- ACT Registration Fee: $63 USD (ACT Inc, 2022)
- ACT + Writing (Essay) Section Registration Fee: $88 USD (ACT Inc, 2022)
As you can see, repeated attempts on these exams can become a costly investment. The benefit of practice tests is being able to “take a shot” at one of these exams without having to worry about the financial costs. In many cases, taking a practice test “blind” (i.e. with no prior preparation) is a good way for students to establish a baseline score before beginning the test preparation process.
Tutor Doctor offers FREE practice exams with live proctors! This will help your student get a feel for the testing environment and the flow of the exam. In addition, we’ll provide a detailed score report that identifies areas of need!