The Student News Site of Darien High School

Seniors-to-Juniors: How to Be Successful on the ACT or SAT

Junior year is renowned for stress, lack of sleep, work, and, did I mention stress? You may have picked up a few more higher level AP and honors classes, and now you are responsible to start thinking about the future! Congratulations, you have reached the starting point of the college process: a process that will haunt you and drain your every last drop of energy until April of next year. One of the most important aspects of your applications, and one of the most angst filled parts of junior year, is standardized testing. But rest assured, that does not mean they need to cause any anxiety.   caught up with some seniors currently in the thick of sending in applications to get some feedback on the best tips and strategies for successful SAT or ACT testing during junior year.

One of the hardest parts of figuring out the SAT or ACT is knowing how to study. While both tests claim to cover material covered in most high schools under the core curriculum, it is a far more practical test than those taken in school which test knowledge of a particular topic.

“I took the Carnegie Pollock class for the ACT and found that it was really helpful, especially for math. The classes can be expensive but I think they are worth it if you are putting the time and work into studying and practicing. They don’t really teach you material, more so how to approach the exam and how to read each question.” said senior Grace Silsby.

“Don’t be too worried about getting testing done as soon as possible. If you rush it and take the test too early in junior year, you won’t have the same experience and knowledge under your belt . . . ” ”

— Senior Shane Ford

Classes and private tutors, however, can cost upwards of six thousand dollars. Many students swear by taking practice tests as a mean to study, and there are more than enough affordable resources available.

“The workbooks are really useful. Classes and tutors can get pretty expensive, but the books with practice tests and tips that you can get on Amazon are really helpful and don’t cost too much money. Taking practice tests is one of the best ways to be successful, you just have to be willing to put the work in yourself,” said senior Hayden Edwards.

So you’ve got your studying down, but figuring out when to actually take the test is a whole other battle. What if you need to retake it (you will probably need to retake it), how much time should you leave? Does it need to be done before senior year?

“Don’t be too worried about getting testing done as soon as possible. If you rush it and take the test too early in junior year, you won’t have the same experience and knowledge under your belt as you would for the April or June test. It also isn’t a big deal to take a test at the beginning of senior year; while it isn’t ideal, it’s also not impossible and you gotta do what you gotta do,” said senior Shane Ford

If you are feeling overwhelmed with all the responsibilities that come with junior year, don’t fret. You are not alone! For some inspirational words, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXsQAXx_ao0

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