Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

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Steps to Succeeding on the SAT and ACT

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Students filling out their SAT exam booklet (The New York Times)

With sophomores and juniors beginning to take the SAT and ACT, properly preparing and strategizing is crucial to receiving a high score. Although these tests can seem daunting, there are steps that everyone can take to feel confident and comfortable going into exam day. Numerous students at Hingham have had success on both the SAT and the ACT, and each and every student planning on taking them can do the same. 

Starting, an often overlooked aspect of test preparation is familiarizing yourself with the structure of the exam itself. Knowing the number of questions, type of questions, number of sections, and what areas of each subject to study will set you up far better for a high score. This information can easily be found on the CollegeBoard website, or by looking in any SAT or ACT prep booklet. Make sure to spend at least 30 minutes becoming familiar with whatever test you are taking so no unexpected surprises appear on test day. 

Time management is the next aspect of test preparation that each student should learn. There are 154 total questions on the SAT and 215 on the ACT, so no one can afford to get held up on a single question, ruining their chances of answering the rest. Hingham senior Tadd Cavanaugh explained that “time management was honestly one of if not the most important part of getting ready for me. None of the stuff that I studied would have come in handy if I didn’t have the time left to answer the actual questions”. Tadd certainly makes a good point, and attributed his time management skills to his tutor, which transitions nicely into the next step to success. 

While hiring an SAT or ACT tutor isn’t completely necessary, it is highly recommended. Not only can they review important areas of study such as reading comprehension, grammar, algebra, geometry, and science, but they can also come up with specific time management strategies that work for their students. Senior Jack Maurer said “my tutor was super helpful, and helped me break down the SAT in a way that I never would have been able to without them”. Getting professional help will prove worth it by the time the results come back. 

One final piece of advice is to not be discouraged if your first result is not what you were looking for. The SAT and ACT are not easy tests, and getting a score lower than what you hoped is an extremely common occurrence. What’s important to remember here is that you can always take the test again for a second, third, or even fourth time. Keep working at it, and there’s no doubt that you’ll reach your goal.

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