Is school out for summer? Maybe not yet but we are getting close.
With summer around the corner, now is a good time to map out a test prep plan, particularly for current juniors in high school. Hopefully you already have a program, like CROSSWALK’s Summer SAT/ACT Test Prep Series. If not, here is plan you can do on your own over eight weeks:
Week 1: Start with the End in Mind Take the first week of summer to do some research into potential universities. Most importantly, as it relates to ACT and SAT prep, find out the score you need to get into the school(s) of your dreams. This score represents your Goal Score and your Goal Score is the key to your entire test preparation and strategy. Week 2: Take a Practice Test You may have already taken the PSAT or PreACT. If not, download a practice SAT and/or a practice ACT and take the test according to the directions and timing. Be sure to recreate the testing environment as realistically as possible so your practice experience is comparable to test day. For example, ignore your cell phone while taking the practice test. Week 3: Run the Numbers If you have a detailed score report from a PSAT or PreACT, be sure to access it. If you took a practice test, score your test according to the instructions. Running the numbers means determining the test score in your practice and comparing it to your Goal Score. Take the time to calculate your score so you can see the difference between your current score and the one you need. Week 4: Dig Into the Data Once your have compiled your test score results, now you have to dig further into the test results. Turn over all stones and determine what kinds of questions you missed and what kinds of questions you aced. A strong understanding of your strengths and weaknesses is a major part of developing your preparation and strategy going forward. Week 5: Get Better Simply put, take your weaknesses and put a plan together to improve. For example, if you find you always miss graphing function problems, ask a friend, find a teacher or even access some videos on Khan Academy to get better at this skill. Week 6: Prepare a Game Plan After working on your weaknesses, fine tune your Game Plan, or your strategic approach to test day. For example, map out your timing so you know exactly how much time you have to spend on each section. Similarly, determine which problems to guess on and which ones to spend time on. Your Game Plan is the path towards your Goal Score. Week 7: Test. Learn. Repeat. Take at least a week to work your plan. Do practice sets and maybe even a full length practice test. Score them and learn from your mistakes. Adjust your plan accordingly and repeat the process. It’s an iterative process but the more you do it, the better you will score. Week 8: Set Your Mindset to Growth Students who believe they can learn anything with hard work, effort and determination will learn more. It’s a scientific fact. If you are stuck in a rut and don’t think you can learn anything new, get out of the rut of a fixed mindset and adopt a growth mindset. Tell yourself you can get better at anything with time and effort and you will. Not too hard of a plan, right? It’s totally doable. Now just map out the weeks and dates on your calendar and get your summer test prep plan going. If you need help, contact CROSSWALK.