3 Reasons Why Studying for the SAT/ACT Is Important
The SAT and the ACT are meant to measure student readiness for college, and both exams are universally accepted by United States colleges. Both tests are extremely popular as demonstrated by a record number of 2.2 million students taking the SAT in 2019 and roughly 1.78 million taking the ACT the same year. The SAT is offered by the College Board, which offers additional services like advanced placement courses, whereas the ACT is given by a nonprofit organization of the same name.
The tests differ in cost, scope, and scoring, though the SAT is the longer of the two. The SAT can last nearly four hours when including the optional essay section, which some colleges require. Meanwhile, the ACT generally lasts about three and a half hours with its essay included. Both tests are high stakes affairs, and there really isn’t an easier option between the two. In recent years, it’s actually becoming more popular for students to take both tests, and there are several reasons this can be beneficial. Here’s why it’s so crucial to study for these tests before taking them.
They Affect Admission Decisions
The most obvious reason you need to thoroughly prepare for the SAT/ACT is that they can determine what colleges you’re actually able to go to. Individual colleges all have their own admission policies, but test scores and essays are an easy way for them to estimate student ability and readiness. Since many colleges get tens of thousands of applications per semester, a low score on these tests can automatically count against you.
Of course, your grades in high school and the classes you took are big factors as well, so you can think of the average scores for each college more as guidelines for admission rather than strict requirements. Your scores can also affect your class placement when you are accepted to a college, so if you want to avoid remedial courses and place in more advanced ones, it pays to prepare. Compared to years past, now is a great time to take the SAT, since it was revamped to better reflect what students learn in school.
You Can Qualify for Scholarships
What student wouldn’t want to have more scholarships? Paying for an education is hard for many students without financial assistance, and unlike student loans, you don’t have to pay back money from scholarships. Many colleges use test scores to influence their decisions to award scholarships, and you may even automatically qualify if you score high enough. More scholarships mean less money spent on books and tuition, and they can also save you the time you’d otherwise have to spend on a part-time job.
You Can Improve Lifelong Skills
Preparing for the SAT/ACT shouldn’t just be about memorizing practice test answers or trying to play the system. If you study with expert help like Zinc NYC educational services, you can hone the skills you’ll need to not only do well on your tests but also succeed in college and beyond. Zinc is based in New York but offers online courses and other services to students all over the world to improve their problem-solving skills and instill a passion for lifelong learning.
The timed nature of college exams means that students need high reading comprehension levels to succeed, rather than trying to get by through cramming. Helping students improve their reading comprehension doesn’t just help them on tests either—it’s the greatest skill they can use to succeed at life beyond school. Zinc services include one-on-one tutoring sessions, online prep classes, online practice tests, and even college counseling services to help students with the application process.
Using the time you have to prepare for your tests wisely will help you achieve higher scores and perform better in college overall.