Improving Academic Performance

Three Tips to Performing Well on Standardized Tests

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Tue, May 28, 2013 @ 09:21 AM

3 Steps to Performing Well on Standardized Tests

What priorities should students set, and how should parents help them get there with their integrity intact?  MyGuru has three simple rules for navigating the college admissions process and the SAT/ACT – and this applies to the GMAT, LSAT, MCAT and GRE as well.  Our rules are designed to take the stress out of the college admissions process, and make it possible for anyone to achieve a higher score on the SAT/ACT.

Think Long Term 

Begin your formal test prep activities one year before the exam date.  Every good test prep process begins with learning the ins and outs of the SAT or ACT.  This requires a thorough review of each of the question types, the scoring method, and the format of the exam BEFORE ever doing a practice question.  This is a relatively low pressure, low stakes way to prep and feel comfortable with the exam.

Maximize Repetitions

Do as many test prep questions as you can in order to get familiar with the patterns and habits of the question writers.  This doesn’t require you to buy a ton of books or download massive databases of questions.  As long as you get coverage across all the common question types, doing the same questions over will build the confidence and pattern recognition necessary to succeed.

Tailor Your Learning

You should avoid the cookie cutter approach at all costs.  If you are testing at a high level on the math, but struggle with the verbal – attack the low hanging fruit!  For you, an hour’s worth of verbal prep will yield more of a score improvement than an hour of math prep – so focus on the right things.  Don’t waste your time (and money!) learning skills that will not help you improve your score.  Do spend time practicing question types where you don’t feel as comfortable, and always look for new ways to relate to the material.

Obviously, as providers of 1-1 tutoring and test prep, we at MyGuru believe that private, targeted 1-1 tutoring is a great way to accomplish tailored learning.  However, there are other interesting and helpful tools to accomplish this.  For example, MyGuru partners with BenchPrep to deliver customized, online test prep solutions that allow students to focus on specific areas, obtain feedback, and interact with peers and experts on their test prep journey.

Applying these rules can help to lower the emotional and monetary cost of getting into college.  If you need help with tutoring, MyGuru is proud to offer the best value in private SAT/ACT tutoring in Chicago.  Feel free to call us to discuss our approach, or sign up for a tutoring session today.


Private Tutor Questions to Ask