The SAT or ACT tests for Online High School Students

Posted on June 24 2013

Are standardized tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or ACT necessary for graduates of online high schools? This question is still up for debate. Those who are for the standardized tests say that this provides universities with a baseline by which they can evaluate a child’s college application. Meanwhile, those who are against the use of standardized testing claim that the scores of these tests reflect how well a student is able to take the test, rather than his reasoning ability and his ability to thrive in a college environment.

Be that as it may, if you are keen on heading towards college, you should seriously consider taking the SAT or ACT. There is already a growing number of universities and colleges that don’t require applicants to present the SAT or ACT results. However, there are still some schools (mostly Ivy League universities) that require SAT or ACT scores as a prerequisite for admission. In some cases, presenting your SATs or ACTs may be an advantage, as it already gives universities a baseline by which they can start evaluating your application, along with your online high school grades.

Now, if you have decided to go ahead with the testing, it is important to start making the necessary preparations. Here are some strategies and tips to help you prepare:

  • Review the basic concepts. Have a run through of the coverage of the particular subjects. This way, you take a refresher on basic concepts you may have already forgotten. For instance, you should know the Pythagorean Theorem, as well as formulas that may be used in Science or Math questions. Since these basic concepts are actually collected over time, it is important to set a solid educational foundation. That is why The American Academy is fully committed towards providing quality online high school education to ensure that students are more or less ready to take on the challenge of the SAT or ACT. The American Academy offers over 200 courses to help you complete all that courses you need to take, as well as advanced courses for those who are interested.
  • Take practice tests. Practice tests can act as a diagnostic test, pointing out areas you need to review further. Having a “dry run” will also give you the “lay of the land” so that you know how the test will flow. The SAT includes an essay section so taking a practice test will help you time how fast you are able to formulate your thoughts and write out your essay. Taking the practice test will also help you measure the level of stress you may have and how you can effectively deal with it on the day of the test. A lot of online courses cover SAT and ACT reviews and practice tests.
  • Read and understand the instructions beforehand. The instructions usually provide a step-by-step guide to the test. It also gives you an idea of the format of the test. Take note of the time limits – there are actually some penalties incorporated into the system when you go on overtime with a particular section of the test.
  • Learn how to manage the testing time available. How do you ensure that you are able to finish all (or at least, most) of the questions? Don’t allow difficult questions to eat up your time! Remember, no matter how hard or easy one question is, it is still equivalent to one point. So choose how you will earn that one point wisely.
  • Enrich your vocabulary. Review the meaning of prefixes, suffixes and root words to help improve your vocabulary considerably. It can also help to have a run through of past vocabulary questions, as there is a strong possibility of some of these cropping up in the latest set of questions. If you encounter an unfamiliar word, have a small notebook ready to note it down so that you can look at the dictionary for its meaning. Try using the new word into a sentence. More importantly, the best way to develop a strong vocabulary is by reading – so while it is early, develop a reading habit.
  • Take good care of your body. Don’t just train your mind, train your body as well by ensuring that it gets all the things needed in order for it to support all the work the brain has to do during the test. The tests can be physically draining, as it can take more than four to five hours. Maintain a healthy lifestyle combining the right proportions of a well-balanced meal plan, rest and relaxation.