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Score Difference Between Practice and Real (Cross Posted)

tp3208tp3208 Registered User Posts: 28 Junior Member
I'm confused how my real tests are around 100 points lower than practice tests. I've tried to use many resources to prep (Elite Prep, Khan Academy, & Barron's) but none of them seem to work. Whichever resource I used, I always took 1 practice test per week for at least 2 months in advance and studied/reviewed my mistakes for 10 hours per week.

1. How do I figure out what I am doing wrong?

Also, I want to switch over the ACT and take the September ACT. However, my mom wants me to take both the August SAT and the September ACT. But my dad wants me to take only the August SAT.

2. Which test should I take (or should I take both)?

This summer, I am working on launching a startup company and expanding another startup company, so I need to manage my time wisely and optimize my study plan.

3. Are these practice schedules good for the summer?

June - July (Elite) SAT Practice Test Average (Practice w/ Studying)
Total: 1450 (Reading/Writing: 650) (Math: 800)

August SAT (Real w/ Studying)
Total: 1380 (Reading/Writing: 620) (Math: 760)

October PSAT (Real w/o Studying)
Total: 1470 (Reading/Writing: 750) (Math: 720)
NMSQT Index: 222

November - February (Barron's) SAT Practice Test Average (Practice w/ Studying)
Total: 1480 (Reading/Writing: 680) (Math: 800)

March SAT (Real w/ Studying)
Total: 1370 (Reading/Writing: 640) (Math: 730)

May (College Board) SAT Practice Test (Practice w/o Studying)
Total: 1470 (Reading/Writing: 670) (Math: 800)

May (Barron's) ACT Practice Test (Practice w/o Studying)
Total: 32 (English: 35) (Mathematics: 34) (Reading: 23) (Science: 34)

May (Barron's) ACT Practice Test (+5 extra minutes on Reading) (Practice w/o Studying)
Total: 33 (English: 35) (Mathematics: 34) (Reading: 29) (Science: 34)

Mon - SAT Practice Test (3 hours)
Tues - ACT Practice Test (3 hours)
Wed - SAT Practice Test Review (2 hours)
Thurs - ACT Practice Test Review (2 hours)
Fri - SAT Reading Practice & ACT Reading Practice (1 hour)
Sat - SAT Writing Practice & ACT English Practice (1 hour)
Sun - SAT Math Practice, ACT Math Practice, & ACT Science Practice (1 hour)

Mon - SAT/ACT Practice Test (3 hours)
Tues - SAT/ACT Practice Test Review (2 hours)
Wed - SAT/ACT Reading Practice (1 hour)
Thurs - SAT/ACT Reading Practice (1 hour)
Fri - SAT/ACT Writing Practice (1 hour)
Sat - ACT Science Practice (1 hour)
Sun - SAT/ACT Math Practice (1 hour)

Replies to: Score Difference Between Practice and Real (Cross Posted)

  • TheSATTeacherTheSATTeacher Registered User Posts: 184 Junior Member
    Speaking as an SAT tutor, you should know that most of the third party materials aren't great and their practice tests aren't great predictors of performance. As far as actual SATs go, there is some variability in performance from sitting to sitting for a whole bunch of reasons, which is why it is always valuable to take the test several times.

    When you are practicing, the main thing you need to do is learn from your mistakes. As you take the practice test (timed, with no. 2 pencil, with bubbling in the answers) you should put an asterisk next to any problem you weren't completely sure about. Go over those problems too. Really dwell on your mistakes--even careless ones--and figure out how they can be avoided in the future. The college board also has answer explanations to each problem. First you should try to figure out what you did wrong on your own. Then, and only then, should you look at these answer explanations.

    Also, based on your EBRW score, you probably need to work on your knowledge of grammar rules, and your reading comp. abilities. You may need to work on your vocab too. Prep is not just about getting a better feel for the test and its questions: it's also about building core skills. As such you should work on your reading abilities.

    Hope this helps. If you have any more questions, or any more specific questions, don't hesitate to ask or message me.
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