Category Archives: Test Prep

The road to success, some say, is paved with learning opportunities disguised as failure. Every day at our TestBeast Tumblr, we celebrate those brave and determined enough to take that journey. Here are some of our most favorite recent tips…     Looking for daily motivation for monster test scores? Subscribe for free to the Daily TestBeast!

If a four-year college, especially a competitive one, is in your future, the question is not if you’ll be taking the SAT or ACT, but rather when. Some families want to start planning for test day during the first week of high school. Others, unfortunately, don’t consider testing until midway through senior year. But, as you’ve surely heard, timing is everything. Taking the SAT or ACT at the right time ensures the right levels of readiness while allowing a buffer for retesting. When should a student take the SAT or ACT? In the absence of extenuating circumstances, the best time to take these tests is 11th grade. Junior year is ideal for the tests for many reasons, which ACT has skillfully summarized: You’ve probably completed the coursework corresponding to the test material. You’ll have your test scores and other information in time to help you plan your senior year. (For…

Read more

Success does not come easy. That’s why we share support ans study tips every day at our TestBeast Tumblr. Here are some of our recent favorites…     Looking for daily motivation for monster test scores? Subscribe to the Daily TestBeast!

We, both culturally and individually, tend to take tests like the SAT and ACT seriously because of the opportunities high scores can unlock. However, most students and families maintain perspective about the exams, while others can only be described as lackadaisical in their approach. All in all, on the national level, we tend to get worked up about the concept of the tests and not so much their ongoing administration. But imagine if we in the United States observed each test day by doing the following: Ban airport landings and departures for 40 minutes to assure quiet during a critical listening portion of the test. Open markets and businesses an hour late so that city traffic would clear up for students on way to the exam sites. Issue emergency numbers so students stuck in traffic can request police escort rides before gates to the test sites close. Delayed or cancel…

Read more

We should all follow Denis Waitley’s advice heading into a big test: “Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” But some test day surprises surpass the bounds of common sense… like deer attacks. This past Saturday morning, a deer crashed the party during an SAT administration at Lockport High School.   School Board President John A. Linderman said the deer struck a door in the music wing, damaging a pane on the door, and then ran off. “Some of the kids saw it,” Linderman said. He said no injuries were reported.The pane of glass on the door was broken. Linderman said that despite the drama, the kids were able to complete their testing.   This is the first time I’ve heard about a test disrupted by a deer. Have you heard of other test day wildlife encounters?

Almost a decade ago, the creators of both the SAT and ACT introduced essays to their previously pristine multiple-choice exams. Each organization charted a different course, differing in what the essays are written on, how long students have to write, and, perhaps most importantly, whether students are even required to write the essay. Considering that the College Board is moving towards a longer optional essay, it’s fair to say the ACT model won that particular competition. That said, one more aspect of the ACT essay infrastructure deserves recognition and further consideration from that other testing authority. While both organizations assign students 2-12 essay scores through a similar grading process, ACT provides additional context for performance in the form of stock essay comments. These essay comments, derived from the ACT scoring rubric, are selected by one of the two essay readers for inclusion on the student score report. Code numbers corresponding…

Read more