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SAT AND ACT: W HAT ARE THESE TESTS ? Nancy Daves, MA VP of Customer Relations

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Presentation on theme: "SAT AND ACT: W HAT ARE THESE TESTS ? Nancy Daves, MA VP of Customer Relations"— Presentation transcript:

1 SAT AND ACT: W HAT ARE THESE TESTS ? Nancy Daves, MA VP of Customer Relations

2 SAT Reading points 70 Minutes 1 20-minute section 2 25-minute sections 48 Passage-based reading questions Tests comprehension of what is stated in or implied by the passage. 19 Sentence completion questions Tests vocabulary and understanding of sentence structure. Math points 70 Minutes 1 20-minute section 2 25-minute sections 44 Multiple choice questions Students asked to solve a problem and pick the best choice offered. 10 Student-produced responses Students are not given answer choices; must solve the problem and "grid in" the answers. Writing points 60 Minutes 1 10-minute section 2 25-minute sections 25 Improving Sentences Tests ability to correct faults in usage and sentence structure, and recognize effective sentences that follow the conventions of Standard Written English. 18 Identifying sentence errors Tests ability to recognize faults in usage, and recognize effective sentences that follow the conventions of Standard Written English. 6 Improving Paragraphs Tests ability to revise sentences in the context of a paragraph or the entire essay, organize and develop paragraphs in a coherent and logical manner, and apply the conventions of Standard Written English. 1 Essay The SAT ® begins with an essay. Students will be asked to present and support a point of view on a specific issue. Because there is only 25 minutes, the essay is not expected to be polished - it is meant to be a first draft.

3 ACT Test Content English75 questions45 minutesMeasures standard written English and rhetorical skills. Mathematics60 questions60 minutes Measures mathematical skills students have typically acquired in courses taken up to the beginning of grade 12. Reading40 questions35 minutesMeasures reading comprehension. Science40 questions35 minutes Measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills required in the natural sciences. Optional Writing Test 1 prompt30 minutes Measures writing skills emphasized in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses.

4 D IFFERENCES BETWEEN SAT AND ACT SAT Math section only contains Algebra and Geometry Explicitly tests vocabulary Questions are abstract: the questions look and feel different than those from school Essay is mandatory No science section Timing is not as difficult ACT Math section contains Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry Vocabulary is not tested Questions are much more straightforward (almost the same as questions students see in school) Essay is optional Contains a science section Time is extremely difficult *Both tests offer score choice*

5 SAT VS ACT E NGLISH

6 SAT VS ACT M ATH

7 I MPORTANT N OTES A BOUT THE SAT If at least one answer choice can be eliminated, guess ¼ pt. deducted for wrong answers More inferring/reasoning All sections go from easiest to hardest except reading passages questions Vocabulary is extremely important More intimidating-questions look worse than they are Plugging in numbers almost of the 54 math questions

8 I MPORTANT N OTES A BOUT THE ACT Answer every question Sections are longer than SATstudents who work quicker and have better time management tend to do better Reading compmore literal than the SAT, less complicated 4 answer choices on all sections except math Science looks more intimidating than it is - more a test of reading and reasoning skills Biggest challenge of English section is time crunch Math has a larger range of difficulty than the SAT: covers higher level Algebra and includes Trigonometry

9 S TUDENTS M AY P REFER … SAT if – Tests well Very strong in math Have time management issues Good at changing gears ACT if - Strong time management Stronger in English Like science Do well in class

10 T EST F EEDBACK ACT Test Information Release (TIR) Get the entire test booklet back – test scores and answers! Offered for 3 of the 6 tests April June December SAT Question-and-Answer Service (Q&A) Get the entire test booklet back – test scores and answers! Offered for 3 of the 7 tests January May October Students should be encouraged to take these exams and use the returned tests to their advantage!

11 SAT Timeline PSAT/NMSQT: October Results in December SAT Start preparing after PSAT Ideal first test in January* Order Question-And- Answer Service (QAS*) Leaves time for another test in spring (March, May*, June) Last: Oct*/Nov senior year ACT Timeline PLAN Sophomore year ACT Start preparing January Ideal first test in April* Order Test Information Release (TIR*) Leaves time for another test in summer (June*) Must know more math Last: Sep/Oct senior year

12 R OOT C AUSES OF M ISTAKES Lack of familiarity with content Failure to read carefully Assumption that questions are like the ones in high school classes Nervousness/time stress

13 E SSENTIAL K EYS TO P ERFORMING ON T EST D AY InformationBeing informed is key. Students who are well prepared will NEVER be surprised by the test. ConfidenceIf students have a strong belief that they have done all they need to in order to be ready, they will do better. Competitive firestudents pit themselves not only against the test but against others in the room. RelaxOvercoming anxiety is crucial to success.

14 S UPER -S CORING Every Test Counts! Some schools will super score the SAT or ACT, meaning that they will take the best scores from each section and combine them for a new composite score. Example SAT super score: Test 1: M: 520 R: 600 W: 640 Test 2: M: 640 R: 590 W: 650 Test 3: M: 590 R: 680 W: 570 FINAL: M: 640 R: 680 W: 650

15 It is my hope you will walk away from this presentation with a better understanding of the SAT and ACT tests. If you have any follow up questions: ext 31


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