This week, our experienced teachers at MEK Review list their favorite studying hacks for high school students to smartly use while preparing for the SAT or ACT exams.
Test Prep Hack #1. Practice a little at a time.
“Practice improving only a few skills a week. Often, students try to improve on every topic at once, and it can be overwhelming. Instead, focus on just a couple topics or test-taking skills per week to narrow your focus and maximize your results. For instance, for the Writing section, maybe one week, you focus on re-learning punctuation rules, the next week on pronoun rules.”
— Katie Weisman, English Teacher
Test Prep Hack #2. Review what you know.
“Review. Students always want to do new material, new tests, new questions. But sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is to review the material you’ve already done and reflect meaningfully on why you made mistakes. Try to figure yourself out as a test-taker, not just the test.”
— Rachel Erwin, Exam Prep Coordinator
Test Prep Hack #3. Train on vocabulary.
“Study vocabulary. It is not the most attractive part of preparing for the test, but the confidence given by knowing what all the words in a tricky passage mean cannot be understated.”
—Mac Porter, English Teacher
Test Prep Hack #4. Expand what you read.
“Read newspaper articles. Get them sent to your phone through email each day. Huffington Post, The Atlantic, and The New York Times are all good ones to start with. This will help students learn how to read quickly and will enhance their vocabulary.”
—Ashley Dorian, English Teacher
Test Prep Hack #5. Read as much as you can.
“Read voraciously. Pick a handful of your favorite reputable sources and read them regularly. Besides enjoying yourself, you’ll also be secretly building your vocabulary and critical thinking skills, skills of which always pay dividends when it comes to taking standardized tests.”
— Chris Cullen, English Teacher
Test Prep Hack #6. Look back at older tests.
“They must review their OLD tests. Students do not receive the scores they want NOT solely because of the lack of contents, but making silly “and same” mistakes over and over. They need to understand their weaknesses and fix those first.”
— Tony Kim, Director of Exam Prep
Test Prep Hack #7. Batch your time.
“Make a bunch of “small” times. Allocate 15 mins a day, as opposed to a lump-sum of many hours on a single day.”
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