Student life can be very challenging. Between sports, music, clubs, and school work, it becomes difficult to manage everything and often, students get overwhelmed. The last thing they need with all of that pressure is the added stress that comes with taking the ACT and SAT. Luckily for these high schoolers, there is a very simple way to decrease the amount of stress experienced during the school year.

Start studying during the summer!

The best way to prepare for the ACT and SAT is to start early. The more time you have to study, the better. Summer is perfect because of the ample time to get work done, without having to attend classes all day. Many students initially don’t like this idea because they want a work-free summer. However, ACT and SAT prep won’t take up your entire summer; you’ll still have plenty of time to spend with family and friends. An hour of studying per day just 2-3 times per week can really raise your test scores.

Why is summer is the best time to prepare for the ACT or SAT?

If you start preparing for the standardized tests during the school year, it will be easy to become overwhelmed. This is especially common with student-athletes and students involved in band or theater. Effective time management becomes very tough when there is too much on your plate. Both college entrance exams (ACT and SAT) are comprehensive tests covering huge swaths of information. Summer prep programs save students from the pressure of juggling this work during the busy school year. If you are looking for an excellent program, Learning Ascent Tutoring in St. Charles is a popular local favorite with expert tutors who help students achieve exceptional results.

Timing is everything.

Timing matters in rowing, baseball, music, and especially in test prep. So, when in your high school career should you consider preparing? Volumes have been written about this topic and answers vary, but here is the skinny — as soon as you have taken Algebra 2. OR, for college-bound athletes and students involved in a lot of extracurriculars who don’t yet have Algebra 2, but do have Algebra 1 and Geometry, prep in the summer after sophomore year.

So, for these sans Algebra 2 students who need to work towards a score that can open doors for their recruitment opportunities, consider a 2-step process. Prepare the summer prior to junior year and take the test, then schedule a “tune-up” before the April test is given junior year in school. There is no such thing as preparing too early. The earlier you begin your college test preparation, the better. Students “preparing too early” are about as rare as unicorns. Crushing the whole test prep into an overwhelming junior year schedule does not typically get excellent results.

Anna’s Summer ACT Prep Story

One of our local students, Anna, came from a very smart family. Her sister scored well on her ACT. On Anna’s first several ACT tests, she didn’t get the score she wanted and felt less intelligent compared to her sister. Anna knew she had to make changes. Anna and her mom called Learning Ascent and signed Anna up for ACT tutoring. Anna and her tutors worked hard to help her master the material. Together, they targeted specific areas where she struggled and built the strategies Anna would need to successfully complete the daunting test. After completing the 20-hour course and doing all 20 hours of assigned homework, she retook the test. The results were unbelievable. Anna increased her ACT score by 7 points and was overjoyed with her performance. Anna learned that with preparation, diligence, and integrity she could master the content and succeed.

The best ACT and SAT results can be achieved when you utilize your summer effectively. Take advantage of the ample time during summer to help avoid stress and overwhelm of last-minute college test prep during the school year, and give yourself the best chance to improve your score by prepping early for the ACT or SAT.

Still have ACT or SAT test prep questions? Learning Ascent Tutoring would love to answer them for you. Call us any time at 630-587-2795 or visit our office located at 2020 Dean Street, Unit N in St. Charles.

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