- You keep taking practice tests and your score is not improving
- You keep skipping problems that you simply don’t know how to do
- You don’t know why the answer that you chose is incorrect or why the correct answer is better for the questions that you missed
It’s a great idea to get a lot of practice tests (just make sure that they are good tests!) and to work hard to improve your score on the SAT or ACT on your own. However, if you are encountering any of these three problems, you are stuck and you need some outside help.
But don’t immediately run out and sign up for a test-prep class. If you are scoring at least 1600 or higher on the SAT or 23 or higher on the ACT, you may not need a class. Classes are great to keep you working on the test even when you would rather be at the beach. But if you are very self-motivated and willing to put in the time to prepare for the test on your own, you may just need some guidance when you get stuck.
You will want to search for a tutor who specializes in the test that you are preparing for and ask if they will provide guidance on what is going wrong on your tests and how to prepare on your own. I love it when I am contacted by students who are very motivated to figure out these tests on their own and who just need to meet with me for a few sessions to get unstuck. I analyze their test results to find patterns in what is going wrong. When I meet with them, I show them strategies for the areas that they are struggling with and we review the problems that they can’t figure out on their own. And then I send them off with a stack of assignments and instructions to get back to work on improving their score.Amy Martin Rodriguez, PhD Academic Coach and Owner Click here to email me your questions!