Preparing for the SAT and ACT

BASIS students in science class

Whether you plan to take the SAT, the ACT, or both, the more you prepare for your college entrance exams, the better you will perform. Here are some tips to help you achieve the highest score you can:

Take a prep course

Whether you learn best in person inside a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom or online at home in your pj’s, courses to help you prepare for your exam are available to fit all budgets and schedules. Watch tutorial videos and complete lessons online for the SAT or the ACT when it’s convenient for you. Both test publishers provide a free mobile app with daily practice questions and free practice online, including comprehensive, customizable, interactive study course in their online preparation tools.

Take a practice test

Taking a practice test is the best way to get an idea of what to expect, get comfortable with the format, and build your confidence. The College Board, publisher of the SAT, recommends practicing 15 minutes a day to prepare for the big day. Both publishers offer official online practice tests comprised of thousands of test questions used previously on actual exams.

Take AP courses

Closer in scope and stride to the courses you’ll be taking in college, AP courses allow you to dig deeper into the meat of a subject. Your performance in AP courses is indicative of how you can be expected to perform in college, thus, exceptional performance in AP courses increases your chances of top college acceptance. Because entrance exams are also intended to show your college readiness, your AP courses will give you an extra edge on test day.

Take advantage of your resources

Take advantage of any academic support available to you at school. Ask your teachers if they are available outside of regular classroom hours to help you review any content you might be struggling with. If your school has a tutoring center you should utilize it; try bringing some SAT or ACT practice materials along with you and have a tutor go through it with you.

Take a breath

By preparing as much as possible, you will not only help improve your score, but you will walk in on test day confident and knowing what to expect. It’s important to give yourself a break however. Set some time aside for activities that will help you destress in the days leading up to your test. You will perform better if you are relaxed and able to concentrate, rather than stressing out mid-test. So remember, you’ve prepared for this! Go forward with confidence!


BASIS Charter School students have been consistently ranked among the best schools in the United States. Our Schools offer students an education that prepares them according to the highest, more rigorous international standards.

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