1What Study Guides Do you Recommend?
A: We like to say that the best books to use for SAT and ACT preparation are those written by the actual test makers. Got to the source: The Official College Board SAT Study Guide and The Real ACT Study Guide. To read more about what books SAT Prep Group CEO, Steve Kirshenbaum recommends, click the icon to the left.
2How do I prepare for the SAT?
A: You know it’s never too soon to start preparing for the SAT or ACT! SAT Preparation Group suggests giving yourself a minimum of two months to prepare. I advise students to read every day and start a vocabulary journal months or years prior to beginning SAT or ACT prep because the most difficult area to prepare for is Critical Reading. Click the icon to the left to read more.
3Why are standarized tests like the SAT and ACT so difficult?
A: ” The SAT and ACT test writers have one objective: to get students fall through the cracks. Very few students have the natural ability to rise to the top on their own. Even naturally smart people have a heck of a time getting to their optimal ability on their own.“ – Steve Kirshenbaum, SAT Prep Group CEO Read more here or by clicking the icon to the left
4How can a personal SAT coach help me get my ideal score?
A: An SAT coach guides you through the treacherous path of these tests. He or she can provide you with tools, strategies and motivation to do your best. A tutor typically only goes over a set of questions. A coach, on the other hand, designs a program that is tailored to your specific needs and provides feedback to strenghthen your weakest areas . A coach will instill in you self-confidence and teach you proven techniques to learn to focus, stay alert, energized and keep stress under control. Read more here.
5How long should I give myself to study?
A: Some schools will automatically sign up students for the SAT or ACT as well as give them a short prep course. But are you prepared? Do you feel prepared? Most students don’t even know what is happening! Based on our experience a minimum of two solid months of preparation with the right tools and strategies are a good start. Click the link to the left to read more about how you should prepare for the SAT or ACT. Don’t forget to download our free Ultimate SAT Guide: How to Crush the SAT in 3 Easy Steps.
6What courses should I take in school before I take the SAT or ACT?
A: We suggest a number of different courses to take before you take your final SAT or ACT to know you are ready. Ideally you should have AlgebraI and Geometry out of the way. Some of our students are in Calculus but get rusty on basic Algebra and Geometry concept. Some schools try to disuade students from taking either test early but more schooling has no correlation with getting a great score. Make sure you know what your school’s expectations are before you dive into taking your standardized exams. Click the link on the left for more information and a list of prerequisite courses we suggest before your big day!
7What does my SAT / ACT score mean?
A: Whether or not you have taken the ACT or SAT, many students want to know what their scores mean. To put your worries at ease, let’s review what the ACT and SAT scores mean and what level of scores certain colleges are looking for when applying. Click the link to the left to view or video or read the blog for further information.
8Do I need to take SAT 2 subject tests?
A: You only have to take SAT 2s if you are applying to private colleges, such as Duke, Miami, Rollins, Harvard, Stanford, etc. Many colleges, though, are accepting ACT scores as replacements for the SAT 2 subject tests. We recommend that if you have to take 2-3 SAT 2 subject tests, then take them at the same time you’re taking the AP exams so the material will be fresh in your mind. Also, only take these tests if you are comfortable with the material.
For more information on the SAT 2 subject tests, click on the link above to view our video or read our blog about this subject.
9Do colleges focus only on math and reading scores or do they focus on grammar as well?
A: A few colleges still only look at the old style reading and math scores (out of 1600), but the vast majority of colleges are now looking at all of the scores (out of 2400). For example, all of the Florida colleges now accept reading, math, and grammars scores (out of 2400).
10When is the best time to start taking the SATs or ACTs?
A: The best time to begin SAT or ACT preparation is at the very beginning of the Junior year. Based on our experience, the math and grammar sections of the SAT have a minimal correlation with what is covered in school. The SAT and ACT test writers have created their own language that requires students to be able to understand the patterns and concepts which are not typically covered in Math and English classes. Waiting until the Spring to take the first test and not doing well on it, may lead to end of year Junior panic attacks and/or stress with time running out. Students are the most burned-out and sleep deprived by Spring because of AP and final exams, last minute projects, etc which makes Spring not an ideal time to begin SAT prep.
For more information check out our video blog, SAT Prep FAQs: Best Times to Take SAT or ACT.
11What is the difference between the SAT and the ACT?
A: The SAT covers critical reading, math, and grammar. This is the trickier of the two tests. However it does favor the more methodical student . The ACT favors the more visual and naturally quicker minded students. It covers grammar, math (with trigonometry), reading, and science. Most students take both tests because most colleges take either test and it also increases your opportunites at excelling in either one.
For more information, click on our video link above to read our blog, SAT Prep FAQs: What is the Difference between the SAT and the ACT? and watch our video from CEO, Steve Kirshenbaum.
12Which test should I take, the ACT or the SAT?
A: We prefer to start our students with the SAT because it is a richer, more robust test that requires extreme attention to detail. Once a student masters this, he/she can then carry this skill over to the ACT. In the end, most of our students take both tests and carry on with the one they are stronger at. The SAT is for students who are more analytical and prefer an in-depth approach to problem solving and the ACT is for students who like to solve problems at a fast pace and do not get discouraged by being under time pressure.
13How many times should I take the SAT or ACT?
A: The truth is that the vast majority of colleges really don’t care how many times a student takes the SAT or ACT. With SuperScoring, colleges are accepting the best composite score over multiple tests for the SAT and a large number of colleges are Superscoring the ACT as well. The bottom line is that our students take an average of about 3 SATs and 2 ACTs.
For more information, click on our video link above to read our blog and watch our video as SAT Prep Group CEO, Steve Kirshenbaum explains How Many Times to Take the SAT

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