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Are there other tests besides the SAT? Answer: The ACT! 11/16/2020

Although the SAT is usually thought of when preparing for college, there is another option to consider. Like its counterpart, the American College Test, or ACT, is designed to help universities assess your readiness for higher academia. It is normal for students to consider both tests when developing their college resumes to see which is better tailored to their strengths. If struggling with the SAT, the ACT is an equivalent test that is accepted by all four-year universities.

What is the ACT like?

Unlike the SAT, the ACT tests four subjects: Math, Science, Reading, English, with an optional Writing portion.  The grading scale is significantly different as well. The four required sections are graded from a scale of 8-36 with the optional Writing section graded on a scale of 1-6. The test takes 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete when including breaks. Just like any comprehensive exam, there are key strategies All Pro Tutoring uses to maximize your score for each section.

Reading Section:

The Reading section of the ACT is a 35-minute, 40-question assessment testing reasoning and understanding of information. There will be 4 passages using topics pulled from Natural Sciences, Prose Fiction, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Each passage will have 10 questions that follow. 

Math Section:

The Math section is composed of a 60-minute, 60-question section. The topics involved are Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry. Unlike the SAT, the ACT allows students to use a calculator for the entire session.

Science Section:

A 35-minute section made up of 40 questions, the Science section greatly resembles the Reading section but is split into 7 passages. As such, expect to use similar strategies, such as having a basic comprehension of graphs, data, and trends in topics such as Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

English Section:

The English section consists of 75 short questions answered in a span of 45 minutes. Expect to be tested on grammar rules, punctuation, and concise usage of language. Although you’ll have the least amount of time per question, with the correct strategies you should have no issue finishing this section in time.

Essay Section:

The optional 40-minute Essay prompts you with three perspectives.  The requirement is to use all positions to form and defend a well-developed opinion. Like the SAT, many students opt to avoid the essay, but it is always important to check university program requirements before doing so.

Wait! Don’t forget to register:

Register for the ACT at, www.act.org and think about scheduling a practice exam. Since the ACT is offered 12 times a year, it’s easy to build an effective study plan. Whether taking the test in a few weeks or a few months, scheduling a practice exam and having a study guide to review expectations will lead to a clearer understanding of how to increase test scores.

The Next Steps:

After registering, review scores top universities expect on their applications and remember to take a practice test. Determining your goal score is half the battle. At All Pro Tutoring, our team has the skill and experience necessary to help you achieve that goal. The ACT is an important step in the application process, a step we’re willing to help any student take.

At All Pro Tutoring, we offer three separate tutoring options for the ACT: individual sessions, a 4-hour group bootcamp, and a 9-hour class course. We also provide a free practice test to better pair students with testing professionals suited to their needs.

Contact our team today to help with the next step in creating a stellar college application!

Should I take the SAT? 11/03/2020

The short answer is yes! Taking the SAT is an important step in completing and improving college applications no matter where a student is in their high school career. It is a test that creates a common evaluation standard for colleges to fairly judge applicants. While the SAT is important, you still need to make sure to review other aspects of the application process as well. Ultimately, the SAT is a type of entrance exam for colleges to gage a student’s ability to handle higher education. It is nothing to be scared of.

Where to Start with the SAT

To begin your college career, looking into the SAT is an excellent steppingstone. It is offered a total of seven times throughout the year. Students ordinarily take the SAT two or three times during their junior and early senior year. The SAT College Board offers a simple registration process that pinpoints the best locations to take the test near you. It is a long exam that usually involves sacrificing a few Saturday mornings.

Sections of the SAT

The SAT is a three to four-hour long test made up of two key sections: Math and Reading Comprehension. There is also an optional essay. Although optional, some universities require the essay, which is graded on a scale of two to eight. The other two sections are scored between 200-800 points with the best possible score being 1600.

SAT Mathematics

The Mathematics portion of the test is broken into two sub-sections. There is a 20-question, 25-minute section where a calculator is prohibited and another 38-question, 55-minute section that allows a calculator.

SAT Reading Comprehension

The Reading Comprehension portion has two sub-sections as well. There is the 65-minute, 52-question reading and vocabulary section along with a 35-minute, 44-question grammar usage section.

SAT Essay

Unlike most essays, the SAT essay requires students to explain how well an article presents its argument. It is NOT an opinion piece essay on if the writer agrees or disagrees with the presented article. Again, the SAT essay is a choice. In fact, many opt to NOT take it. Even so, some universities require them so make sure to look before foregoing the essay.

The Next Steps

Since, it is a score-driven test, be sure to research what scores your top schools expect. It is common to find their range with a simple Google search or by researching universities. Exploring college websites for appropriate scores is an excellent way to discover what an effective college application possesses. Make sure to examine what other expectations each college requires to succeed academically. Yes, the SAT is important, but it is only a piece of the application puzzle, a puzzle we’d like to help with.

All Pro Tutoring offers comprehensive lesson programs with testing professionals. We offer individualized and small group setting lessons for testing and essay writing. Our strategic approaches to test taking and the admissions process have helped many students succeed throughout the years. We can help with the next step. Inquire about a practice test and our in-depth tutoring programs.

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