Question: Do I need to use practice tests and study services to prepare for the SAT and ACT?
Here’s the short answer – yes.
Practice tests are absolutely essential. Depending on who you are, how you study, and what your strengths and weaknesses are, you may not necessarily, absolutely NEED a study service, but they’re never a bad idea and can only help you.
But first of all, we can’t emphasize enough the need to use practice tests to study for standardized exams. Even if you’re known as the Einstein of your math class or the Shakespeare of your English class, you must study using practice tests. That’s because standardized exams like the SAT and ACT aren’t testing you on knowledge alone—they’re testing you on test-taking strategy and reasoning skills. The only way to get better at those things is to practice, and the best way to practice is to get so familiar with the geography of the test that you could write one yourself. In your sleep. Blindfolded. You get the idea…
That’s where study services come in. Some of us are test-taking mavens and can use test prep books to study on our own. But most of us aren’t able to take the time necessary to study the makeup of a test and understand the different kinds of questions. Study services such as tutors and classroom instructors have studied these tests and have a deep understanding of the test, the common mistakes test-takers make, and can identify your strengths and weaknesses and give you strategies to improve. So even if you’re a brilliant student, it never hurts to have the extra guidance.