Equip yourself for these weeks ahead: ways to prepare for standardized tests

Ava Mac ‘21, Managing/Copy Editor


With April comes the promise of spring break, but lurking just around the corner is the dreaded standardized testing season. For juniors, April 14 is the real deal; the test they have been preparing for for years is finally here, and the stress could not be any more intense. 

To alleviate that pressure, here are some ways to prepare for the month leading up to test day:


Utilize Khan Academy – Khan Academy is a free online educational tool that, when connected with your College Board account, enables you to practice for the SAT. The site uses your results from your last test(s) to identify what you need to practice and even sets time parameters for your practice that mimics the timed portions of the SAT.


Download the SAT Practice App – If you find Khan Academy overwhelming or time-consuming, this app acts as a perfect bite-sized alternative by giving you one practice question each day to help build up on basic SAT skills.


Purchase a test booklet – Many find it beneficial to practice on paper so that their testing practice feels more authentic. A test booklet can be ordered online or bought at a bookstore for about $17, and some books, for an extra cost, also include tips and tricks to take with you on test day.  Better yet, ask a senior to borrow their test book from last year. 


Focus on your weaknesses – Instead of just practicing what you know, hone in on what you know you struggle with, whether that be a general subject like the math portion or specific skills like reading science texts and analyzing literature.


Make a study plan – Attack your large heap of studying with a calculated approach. Set aside some time to study a little bit every week, and plan what you are going to study for each session. 


Talk to seniors who have taken it before – Reach out to others and ask for any tips that helped them do well. For example, senior Dana Urquieta recommends to all underclassmen that “Khan Academy is definitely the way to go,” as her score went up 100 points with five hours of online practice. 


Remember this simple truth – In reality, a test score does not determine your college acceptance. It is only a mere factor in what colleges actually look for, along with GPA and extracurriculars, so do not stretch yourself too thin trying for the perfect score. Besides, the SAT can be taken multiple times, so just know you can always try again and improve your score.


Photo courtesy of money.com

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