Preparing for your future is intimidating and most students have no clue how to start the college planning process. At Get Smarter Prep, we want to help you prepare for college with an easy, step-by-step guide to help navigate students through the process. We want to make this as simple as we can, because we know you are busy with extracurricular activities, homework, sports, and not to mention being a teenager! Let’s begin!

Step One: Which test is best for you? ACT or SAT?

Figure out which test you should take, whether that be the ACT or the SAT. If you haven’t taken an Official exam, the best place to begin the test prep process is with a Free Practice Test. We encourage all students to establish a baseline for the ACT & SAT. Get Smarter Prep offers Free Practice Tests nearly every Saturday. Here are three basic reasons to take a Practice Test:

  • Want to know how you would score on a real test?
  • Starting one of our classes without a baseline score?
  • Want to get some fear and loathing out of the way in a practice environment?

Once you’ve take one or both tests, pick a test and stick with it. It’s best to prepare for one test only, either the ACT or the SAT, but not both. If you’ve taken both and still aren’t 100% sure which test is for you or simply don’t want to take both test, let’s take a look at some of the differences between both tests.

On the SAT, math counts for half of your score, while on the ACT math makes up only ¼. That’s a significant difference. Consider, also, how well you’ll fare without a calculator, as the SAT has a section that must be completed without one.

How much do you want to improve your score? There is much less practice material available for the SAT than for the ACT, which means fewer opportunities to practice and improve your score. If you’re looking for a significant boost, you might lean towards the ACT.

How much do you struggle with timing? The timing on the ACT is more difficult for some students. The SAT provides more time per question, which might be an asset. Taking a practice version of each will help you to know if that is the case for you.

Step Two: Which test date is right for you?

Now that you’ve decided which test you want to take, the question becomes, which test date is right for me? That’s a question only you can answer based upon your extracurricular activities, course schedule, academic readiness, and your ability to best prepare for the test.

ACT SAT Schedule

Our courses generally start 8 weeks prior to the actual test date, so make sure you leave enough time to appropriately prepare for the ACT or SAT given your set goals. If you’re looking for a big jump in your composite score, you will need the full amount of time to prepare for the test. Schedule accordingly.

Step Three: How best to prepare for the test?

Now that you know which test you want to take and which test date fits into your schedule, lets take a look at different options to help you prepare for the test. We offer a number of different services including small group classes, Semi-Private Tutoring, and Private Tutoring.

Standard & Advanced Courses

Semi-Private Tutoring

Private Tutoring

ACT Preparation Courses are focused on a smaller, more cohesive group. Get Smarter Prep students consistently find results through our tried and true curriculum. Students typically increase their scores anywhere between 2-4 points.

The Curriculum for the Standard Course is suited for students scoring in the 17-23 range (the 30th-68th percentiles). The Curriculum for the Advanced Course is suited for students scoring in the 24-29 range (the 74th-92nd percentiles).

Whether you have a challenging schedule, want to work with your friends, or just want a more customized approach than our courses, Semi-Private Tutoring can be a good fit. These tutoring-course hybrids allow for some cost efficiency (like courses) AND customized scheduling & unique curriculum (like private tutoring).

Groups must include at least two students, but no more than four.

Often times we recommend Private Tutoring for students with significant differences in their sub-scores, as the tutor can target specific portions of the test, for students that have a hectic schedule (we realize how busy Junior year can be), or students that want to realize the largest score improvement possible.

Our approach is customized to each student and their specific needs within each portion of the test.

After you figure out which test is best suited for you, which test date is going to fit into your busy schedule, and how best to prepare for the test, you’ve accomplished more than most students and are on your way to tackling a big step towards your future! Good luck!