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How to prepare for the SAT or ACT

Like any exam, the sooner you start preparing for the SAT or ACT entrance exam then the better prepared you will be. Often the best time to start looking into the possibility is over the summer holidays with a view to taking either the ACT in early September or the SAT in early October. However, both the SAT and ACT exams run throughout the year, so NOW is a great time to start working!

The first thing to do is to go to the Fulbright Commission and consider how you might benefit from studying in the USA. The Fulbright Commission has seminars and open days which may help you to decide whether this is the right path for you.

Once you have decided to 'GO FOR IT' you should then read our article on which exam you are best suited to and decide whether to take the SAT or the ACT entrance exam. Remember that there is a New syllabus for the SAT entrance exam for all new students, so take care that you are looking at this redesigned syllabus. If you need help with this decision feel free to contact us for some free advice.

If you are at the end of Year 12 and wish to go straight to University after your A-Levels you will probably need extra help to be prepared in time, so contact us now for some extra tuition.

You must then register, as soon as possible, because in the UK test centres get booked up quickly. This is especially true if you are intending to take the SAT II Subject Tests (required by the more prestigious Universities). When registering be absolutely sure that you register for ALL exams that your chosen Universities require.

Preparing for the Exam

Below are some guidelines on how to prepare for the SAT or ACT entrance exams.
  • Purchase the College Board SAT book or the official ACT Entrance exam book. Both sites have plenty of online and app questions to help you out, so download these as well.
  • Do some easy questions from each section to familiarise yourself with the test layout and how to fill in the test sheets.
  • Do an entire timed test to identify areas that you need to practise and what is expected (be aware that the test is very different to what you are used to so don't worry if you find this hard at first).
  • Do 30 mins practice every day, varying the sections (including the SAT II subject tests or ACT Writing if you are taking them). If you are much weaker in one section then make sure you do MORE of this section.
  • Repeat questions you get wrong to be sure you fully understand them.
  • Do timed sections at least a month before the exam.
  • Do a timed full mock test a fortnight before the exam to identify final areas for work.

Maths Section: If required, contact us for some help with the content and techniques involved in the Maths section.

Reading/Writing Sections:
  • Read books and newspapers to improve your vocabulary
  • Spend time with people who have an extensive vocabulary and be sure to always ask them what a word means if you haven't heard it!
  • Go to and learn plenty of new words
  • Write a list of the words you don't know
  • Try to use these words in every day speech
  • Ask someone to test you regularly from your list

Feel free to contact us if you require assistance of any sort.

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