ACT & SAT

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ACT Test Info

Test Dates Registration Deadline Late Fee Required
September 10, 2016 August 5, 2016 August 6-19, 2016
October 22, 2016 September 16, 2016 September 17-30, 2016
December 10, 2016 November 4, 2016 November 5-18, 2016
February 11, 2017 January 13, 2017 January 14-20, 2017
April 8, 2017 March 3, 2017 March 4-17, 2017
June 10, 2017 May 5, 2017 May 6-19, 2017

ACT Fees
ACT (no Writing) – $42.50
ACT plus Writing – $58.50
Late Fee – $27.50
Test Info Release – $20.00 (get copy of test questions, your answers, and answer key – available for December, April, and June tests only)
To register for the ACT: actstudent.org or 319.337.1270.


SAT Test Info

Test Dates Registration Deadline Test Type
October 1, 2016 September 1, 2016 SAT & Subject Tests
November 5, 2016 October 7, 2016 SAT & Subject Tests
December 3, 2016 November 3, 2016 SAT & Subject Tests
January 21, 2017 December 21, 2016 SAT & Subject Tests
March 11, 2017 February 10, 2017 SAT Only
May 6, 2017 April 7, 2017 SAT & Subject Tests
June 3, 2017 May 9, 2017 SAT & Subject Tests

SAT Fees
SAT – $45.00
SAT with essay – $57.00
Late Fee – $28.00
Subject Test Base Fee – $26.00
Language Tests with Listening – $26.00 each
All other Subject Tests – $20.00 each
To register: sat.org or 866.756.7346.

Test-Taking Tips and Strategies

BE QUICK, BUT DO NOT RUSH
You will need to keep track of your time. Do not rush through the easy and medium questions to get to the hard ones. Concentrate on the easy/medium questions to gain the most points.

NO SURPRISES
Because the ACT is a standardized test, you can learn what you will be tested on and how the questions will be asked. So you’ll need to practice, practice, practice!

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Practice as if you are taking the real ACT, so get up early to practice while you are TIRED! Practicing will help you become more accustomed with taking the ACT.

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS IN ORDER
Determine which questions you should DO NOW, DO LATER, and DO NEVER. The Easy questions should be answered first, the Medium ones later, and the Hard questions saved for last. You may never get to them, and that’s okay! There is the same number of Easy, Medium, and Hard questions, so spend the majority of your time on the Easy and Medium questions so as not to make careless mistakes. Save the Hard questions for last.

ANSWER EVERY QUESTION
There is no penalty for guessing on the ACT, so guess if you are uncertain of the correct answer. You can also use this strategy if you run out of time answering the Hard questions.

USE PROCESS OF ELIMINATION
Narrow down your choices before taking a guess. A 50% chance of getting it correct is better than a 25% chance.

SPOT OF THE DAY
Pick a spot of your choice before starting the test. Use that spot every time you need to guess. It will increase your odds for getting questions correct compared to randomly guessing.

USE YOUR TEST BOOKLET
Physically cross out wrong answers, work out math problems, and underline key information in passages. Do not be afraid to show your work. It’s much easier to work problems on paper than in your head. The test booklet will not be graded, so use it!

Tips for each ACT section

ENGLISH

  • Do not use the “Sounds Good” method. Rely on grammar skills instead.
  • Read entire passage, not just underlined section.
  • Assume everything not underlined is correct.
  • Complete a passage before moving on.
  • Learn to “cut out the fat.” In other words, eliminate information that isn’t needed.
  • The shortest answer is usually right if it makes sense!
  • “Delete the underlined portion” is correct 50% of the time.
  • “No change” is correct 25% of the time.

MATH

  • Study the math formulas. ACT will not provide any formulas.
  • Use your calculator as a tool, not as a crutch.
  • The math section is typically organized in easy to hard order.
  • Use the “Plug-In” method when you are given variables in the question and answers.
  • Use the “Use the Answer” method when you are given numbers in the answers.
  • Geometric figures are usually drawn to scale.
  • If a figure is not given, be sure to draw it out.
  • Use logic when you can instead of using math to solve a problem.
  • There are only four trigonometry questions on the ACT.

READING

  • There are four types of reading passages: Literary Narrative, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Humanities. Practice each of these and determine which ones are easiest for you. Answer those passages first!
  • Think of the ACT Reading section as an open book test. You never have to remember what you read.
  • Always read the blurb. This is the first section of the passage that is in a different font.
  • Use the “Speed Reading” strategy: first paragraph, last paragraph, first sentence of middle paragraphs – in that order!
  • Use the “Cover and Predict” strategy. Practice covering the answers and answering for yourself. Seeing the answer choices may cause you to second guess yourself.

SCIENCE

  • The ACT Science test isn’t really a science test at all. It’s more of a reading test. You do not have to know any scientific facts to do well on the science test.
  • There are three types of science passages: Charts and Graphs, Experiments, and Conflicting Scientists. Practice with these types and determine which ones are easiest. Answer those first!
  • Take lots of notes so that you do not have to reread the passage when answering a question.

  • Use the strategy “Substitute to Simplify.” If a Latin word is used to name something, replace it with a more familiar word to make it easier to understand.
  • Practice using graphs. The ACT Science section will focus a great deal on graph interpretation.

WRITING (OPTIONAL)

  • State your position clearly. ACT prefers direct, concise writing, so limit unnecessary prose.