Students in a variety of academic situations spend months stressing about the SAT and ACT. No matter how prepared you are, you may still feel overwhelmed. After all, either one of these tests can lead you to your dream college or career path. Luckily, some solid preparation can help ease your anxiety and ensure a great score—whether you’re homeschooled or not. Here are a few ways homeschooled students can prep for the SAT or ACT.
Build SAT/ACT test prep into your curriculum
Homeschooling offers great flexibility, which is one of the reasons many students choose homeschooling. For example, a fantastic way to prepare for either test while in a homeschool program is to build SAT or ACT test prep into your curriculum. You can easily integrate topics that will be present on the SAT or ACT into your normal schedule and lessons, as both the ACT and SAT follow core curriculum standards.
Buy or download an ACT/SAT prep book
Many homeschooled learners are used to self-paced learning tools and lessons. For this reason, an ACT or SAT prep book may be a great option for you. There are a variety of prep books available, and prices can vary wildly. (You can also download Varsity Tutors’ free ACT eBook!) Prep books often provide overviews of specific subjects covered on the test, as well as test questions (and even an ACT or SAT practice test). However, this method may not work for everyone—a prep book is ideal for disciplined students who are great self-motivators. If this doesn’t describe you, you may want to consider other forms of ACT or SAT prep.
Take older ACT or SAT tests
While test prep books can be useful, the best preparation often comes from taking older versions of the test. By reviewing old exams, you get a feel for the timing, the language of the test, and the types of questions that may be asked.
You can purchase older versions of ACT or SAT tests, but you can also find a slew of practice tests and other learning tools online. Practice taking old exams in a simulated testing environment as often as you can.
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Hire an SAT or ACT tutor
Many students in traditional schools hire a tutor to ensure that they’re completely prepared to take a college entrance exam. Homeschooled students also have this option, and many benefit from the tutoring experience. SAT and ACT tutors can help direct your study in productive ways, identifying weaknesses and strengths, and then helping you develop solutions to address those weaknesses. A tutor who is also an expert in the ACT or SAT is especially useful; he or she can offer invaluable advice and services that you may not otherwise learn about.
You can score highly on both the SAT or ACT with a little planning and time management. Your homeschool education does not put you any further behind your peers in a traditional schooling environment, but it may affect what study methods work best for you. Experiment with your test prep options, and set high expectations for test day.