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I can help with helping you improve your SAT/ACT scores!

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Replies to: I can help with helping you improve your SAT/ACT scores!

  • GoBears2023GoBears2023 738 replies9 threadsForum Champion Summer Programs Forum Champion
    OK @AirBoosterNeoXD @Salahadden

    That's quite a big jump. About 200 ish points. You guys should aim at 1500+ first. As for improvement, I would try to first secure an 800 in math since it seems that you both are strong at math. This will raise that score quite a bit. Afterwards, try tackling grammar section first, because it easier than the reading part. I would recommend using Erica Metzler's books and the khan academy practice program.
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  • FreedomWindFreedomWind 26 replies0 threads Junior Member
    wonderful. Thank you for the helpful information!
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  • AirBoosterNeoXDAirBoosterNeoXD 21 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @GoBears2023 Yeah that's what I'm doing. I got a 1360 with no preparation so hopefully once I practice I can get a better score
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  • hs2020kidhs2020kid 90 replies16 threads Junior Member
    @GoBears2023 or anyone else - can you please suggest any practice SAT tests other than official college-board ones?

    More info:
    I took my first SAT in October and didn't get my target score (need to improve by at least 120-150). Before October SAT test I did all 8 CollegeBoard official tests - now I am trying to get full practice tests that are closest to the real one. BTW - in CB full practice tests, I scored an average of 100 points more than the real one - is it normal, I am concerned if I missed more than usual in the real tests. I am generally a good test taker (dont get too freak out and get scores that are reasonably close to my expectation).
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  • SoccerMomGenieSoccerMomGenie 189 replies13 threads Junior Member
    @hs2020kid , the 8 official College Board tests are by far the best and they really should be plenty, if you are use them correctly. (SAT tutor here.) The key is not just to take the tests and check your scores and learn where you made mistakes, but to do a deep analysis of every error and to really study the subject matter of the error. For example, if you make an error on the grammar section relating to the use of a semi-colon, not only should you figure out the correct answer, but you should use other resources (I recommend the Erica Meltzer Grammar Guide) to learn the rules about when to use a semi-colon versus a colon or other punctuation. If you make an error in a question relating to quadratic equations, you should not only understand the specific mistake you made, but you should do an in-depth review of quadratic equations in general. I would recommend that you go back over the 8 tests you already took, and do a deep analysis / review of each of your errors. For that matter, you could re-do the tests (one section at a time -- no need to do 3 1/2 hours at a time) using a new copy of the Official SAT Study Guide. In theory, you should get all the questions correct if you reviewed them thoroughly in the past, but I can guarantee you won't. See where your areas of weakness are, study them, review them, and do some extra practice on those concepts (using Khan Academy or a review book). Oh … and you didn't mention how you took the practice tests the first time. If you did them online, that's not an accurate reflection of the real test (you need to practice using the bubble sheets). I strongly recommend you use a hard copy of the Official SAT Study Guide.
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  • hs2020kidhs2020kid 90 replies16 threads Junior Member
    @SoccerMomGenie - Thank you so much for the detailed reply - really appreciate it.
    The first time, I did them in the summer - on the paper (for marking answers - most times did it on bubble paper like real tests; but couple times just marked the answer on the question paper). After each test, went over the test/answers - but now that I look back, I may have missed the detailed analysis of EBRW part of the test (EBRW is my weak link - I score well in Math pretty consistently in practices and repeated that in real test as well). Repeating the same test again - especially ERBW sections and see how I do now is a good idea. I will try that.

    I am retaking in March and want to do at least couple full tests - wanted them to be as close to the real ones and hence the question. After redoing the practice tests as you suggested, I may try couple tests from some of the SAT books (any suggestions for the good ERBW sections in any particular books/online resources are welcome). Thanks again.
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  • SoccerMomGenieSoccerMomGenie 189 replies13 threads Junior Member
    Hi again @hs2020kid --

    As you well know, the EBRW is composed of two sections: Section 1 Reading (65 min) and Section 2 Grammar/Writing (35 min, I think). Even though Reading is much longer, both sections are of equal weight -- worth up to 400 points each. Most of my students find it easier to gain improvements on the Grammar/Writing section than on the Reading section. The best resource for Grammar/Writing is the SAT Grammar Guide by Erica Meltzer. The Guide is well-organized and provides a fantastic outline of all the grammar / writing rules. I strongly recommend you purchase this book and read it cover to cover and do all the practice questions in that book. Erica Meltzer also sells an SAT Grammar Workbook. The workbook basically provides practice tests for the grammar/writing section. I haven't reviewed the Workbook in detail, but Erica Meltzer is known to be the very best expert on the EBRW section of the SAT and so I suspect her workbook is better than any other SAT practice test for Section 2.


    Erica Meltzer is also (especially) expert on the Reading section, and she has a review book for SAT Reading (The Critical Reader). I don't necessarily recommend it to all my students, because it is dense and detailed; it is not a quick read. I am not aware of a Workbook or practice tests for the Reading section by Erica Meltzer. You might want to check her website (I think it's www.criticalreader.com or something like that). Perhaps you can ask her what the best practice tests for Section 1 reading -- if anyone knows, she does! A few very quick hints I can give you for reading are:

    (a) bubble your answers after each passage, not after each question. It will save time and allow you to keep your focus on the readings. (For grammar/writing and math you should bubble at the end of every two pages, right before you flip the page.) Obviously, when you're down to the last few minutes of the test you should be bubbling after every question.

    (b) talk positive talk to your inner self. Seriously, tell yourself, "Woohoo, this should be fantastic! I can't wait to learn more about this topic! It's going to be SOOOO interesting!!!" If you instead say (like most students), "Ugggh, here comes the dreaded historical passage, I HATE these" you are undermining your ability to process the info. The surprising thing is that even if you are lying to yourself and you know it, the positive words make a HUGE difference!

    (c) the correct answer must be completely correct and it will be backed up with support in the reading. Especially once you've eliminated 1 or 2 obviously wrong answers (and you should always cross off an answer choice in your book when you eliminate it), don't ask yourself "Is A the correct answer?" If you do, your mind will try to find ways to justify that A could be the correct answer. Instead, ask "Why might A be wrong?" If you can find even one flaw with A, it will not be the correct answer. And by the way, the correct answer might be extremely uninteresting. If it's totally boring but technically completely true, it's the correct answer.

    (d) use your pencil often. This goes for the entire test. Underline. Put notes in the margins. Cross off answers you eliminate. Circle the correct answer. Put a big question mark next to the question if you're unsure. Put a big circle around the question number if you skip it. And speaking of skipping, don't let yourself get bogged down on a tough question. You can guess, put a question mark next to it and move on.

    Again, good luck!
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  • ButterCap1ButterCap1 1 replies0 threads New Member
    Hi, @GoBears2023 i got 1250, wish to raise this score to 1400+. Can you help me improve my reading and writing sec. if you have some tips and book recommendations ?
    thank you
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  • GoBears2023GoBears2023 738 replies9 threadsForum Champion Summer Programs Forum Champion
    @ButterCap1

    Sorry for the late response. I would definitely recommend trying out the Khan Academy training course online. After taking a diagnosis test, the system will create a specialized program that will specifically target the areas that you need help on. In addition, I always recommend reading Erica Metzler's grammar and critical reading books.
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  • anti18anti18 3 replies0 threads New Member
    I was wondering if you could help me improve my ACT score by a few points. I got a 31 the first time I took it and was super disappointed. I haven't decided whether to take the April or June one - I'm leaning more towards June, figure that would give me more time to study. Please let me know if you think there are any pros or cons to this! Basically I ended up doing alright on the English and Reading sections, but did horrendously in Math and Science, especially Science (26 rip). I didn't bother preparing at all for the science section; after looking at a practice test I assumed it would be the easiest since it's just interpreting graph data but that's most definitely not the case... thinking back to the test, however, I can't recall any problems that were too difficult, so I don't even know what I need to work on. I'm honestly still in shock because science is my favorite subject in school... anyway it's pretty clear I don't even know HOW to study for that section. And I thought the math would relatively easy too :| Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

    By the way, did you get a 36 on your first try? Either way that's seriously insane, I can't even imagine getting a 34 it seems so far away
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  • GoBears2023GoBears2023 738 replies9 threadsForum Champion Summer Programs Forum Champion
    edited January 8
    @anti18 I did get a 36 on my first try, but that was after doing the SAT twice.

    As for improving your ACT score, I would say try using some of the College Panda books. Those were the ones I used when I was prepping. If you believe that the ACT is pretty difficult, I would also recommend giving the SAT a try and see if you get a better score. If you score above a 1450 on the SAT, I would say put your efforts towards the SAT instead.
    edited January 8
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  • anti18anti18 3 replies0 threads New Member
    @GoBears2023 Okay thanks. I did take the SAT, scored below a 1450, lost all hope for it so just decided to focus on the ACT... do you happen to have any tips for the Writing section? I didn't do too well on that either. Other than reading example essays, I can't think of anything else. I just can't tell if I'm even improving.
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  • GoBears2023GoBears2023 738 replies9 threadsForum Champion Summer Programs Forum Champion
    @anti18 sometimes, I gave practice essays I wrote to my teachers or adult mentors that I knew. Getting a second set of eyes on a paper is really valuable.
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  • anti18anti18 3 replies0 threads New Member
    @GoBears2023 alright! Hopefully with some more practice I'll be able to get a 34.
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  • GoBears2023GoBears2023 738 replies9 threadsForum Champion Summer Programs Forum Champion
    @anti18 I wish you the best of luck! Keep me posted and feel free to PM me if you need help with anything :)
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  • Strawberry017Strawberry017 6 replies6 threads New Member
    @GoBears2023
    Do you think it’s possible to bring up you ACT score in about 3 weeks? (February 9th exam) It’s my first time taking the ACT and I don’t know how to study it. I’ve been doing one section a day from the official practice tests.. but do you have any other tips?
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  • GoBears2023GoBears2023 738 replies9 threadsForum Champion Summer Programs Forum Champion
    @Strawberry017 Of course. I think just practicing is the best way to prepare. That's what I did when I prepared for the ACT. Keep in mind that I did already train for the SAT, so lots of my skills transferred over to the ACT.
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  • musikcatmusikcat 5 replies2 threads New Member
    @GoBears2023

    Where did you find the Khan Academy diagnosis test with the specialized programs? All we can find are the videos and practice exams? Wondering how to do the 40 questions a day? Confused, new to Kahn...
    Thank you!
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  • GoBears2023GoBears2023 738 replies9 threadsForum Champion Summer Programs Forum Champion
    @musikcat For the Khan Academy test, you will have to create an account ( i believe the link is on College Board's SAT website?) The first thing you will have to take is the diagnosis before you proceed. As for the 40 questions a day, it is basically on problems that you have had problems on based on your test results. Over time, the types of problems you get will change and by the end, you will have hopefully mastered everything!

    Let me know if I can help answer any other questions!
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  • beka9mkhbeka9mkh 3 replies0 threads New Member
    @GoBears2023 Hello. As it's the beginning of the year, I want to master the SAT up to 1500+ score before the upcoming deadlines. For what period of time, in your opinion, I can get that score by working really hard? Probably it's off topic but, is it better to take more efforts on the SAT than on TOEFL? Also, please, suggest some sources for the beginner who wants to take the SAT and SAT II. Thank you in advance!
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