February is a great month to address your ACT and SAT test prep calendar: it’s the academic midpoint, there is (hopefully) a lull between final exams and the timing is right to plan the rest of the year.
Consider how all students can use the month of February to take account of what they can do for test prep:
Freshmen: It’s really too early to even consider test prep during freshman year. Nevertheless, savvy student who understand the correlation between reading and higher test scores will use this month to make sure they are reading outside of school. Reading allows students to exercise their comprehension and grammar muscles, both directly and indirectly. All students should be reading 30 minutes a day outside of school. And it doesn’t really matter what you read, as long as you read! Sure, The Wall Street Journal is better than US Weekly, but whatever you read, read lots!
Sophomores: If you took the PSAT in the fall, February is a good month to dig into your score to analyze strengths and weaknesses. Awareness of what went well and what needs work is a very concrete and useful goal. If your school did not offer a PSAT, you can use the month of February to familiarize yourself with both the SAT and ACT test options. Spend a little time researching the test sections, scoring, content and strategies. Nothing too much, just a little research. And be sure to read, then read some more!
Juniors: February is THE month for juniors. Find old PSAT scores to analyze. Research test dates. Map out a test prep approach. Once you pick the test date, back plan and put practice tests, study sessions or extra help on your calendar. Getting these things on the calendar is crucial! Don’t procrastinate and don’t stress. Preparation and practice go a long way. Remember: test taking is just like any skill. The more you practice, the better you will become. And also, don’t forget to read outside of school!
Seniors: For you seniors out there, February is your month to encourage your friends to get started. You may want to make fun of them since you should be mostly done with your college application process, but avoid the sarcasm and help out a friend. Remind them that practice yields improved scores.
As for the parents out there, February is a good time to check in with your student. See what questions they have and see what kind of plan works for them. And be sure to encourage the reading. (Here are three ways to encourage students to read.)
If you need help with this, contact CROSSWALK. We offer private ACT and SAT tutoring along with group test prep classes in Pebble Beach, CA. Contact us today to learn more.