In planning for college, sophomore and junior students also need to plan to take either the American College Test (ACT) or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) assessment required for admission into the majority of U.S. colleges.
Time spent reviewing key concepts, taking practice tests, and becoming familiar with the requirements for the tests helps students score better and can translate directly into college scholarship money. For many colleges one more point can equal $1,000.
While taking the exam costs money, statistics show that 57 percent of students who take the ACT more than once — 12 times is the limit set by ACT — increase their score. In the long run, it may be worth the extra time and cost to take the exam again. Check with the school counselor for exam fees and available fee waivers.
Tests are a demonstration of a student's ability to understand concepts, skills and information. Preparation for tests begins with introduction of the content in class and patterns of studying and there are many resources to help students prepare for tests, cope with test anxiety and develop good study habits, such as websites: studygs.net/lcturnote, testpreparationweb.com, greatschools.org/test-prep, onlinetestprep.com and ok.gov/sde/test-support-teachers-and-administrators.
Information on where the ACT and SAT exams are given, costs, registration, preparation and other information can be found on the ACT website, actstudent.org, or the SAT website, sat.collegeboard.org. Parents can support their students and not leave test taking to chance. Ideally, learning to study and taking tests in school will help students be better prepared for the “tests” of adulthood.
Leslie Williams is director of the K20 Center at the University of Oklahoma. This column is offered by the K20 Center Gear Up for SUCCESS and PROMISE programs. For more information about the programs, go to k20center.ou.edu. For more about college preparation, go to www.OKcollegestart.org or call 225-9239.