It happens quite frequently – parents ask me how students can improve their test scores. Well, from my observations of thousands of students, there tends to be an integral combination of student effort and the mastery of the methods, as well as the structure, of the tests that provide the best results. It’s the value of both that will help a student achieve their ACT or SAT goals! It’s not a matter of one or the other – it’s the two in cooperation that leads to the largest score increases!
We recently helped a student that worked harder than any student I have ever seen! She was honestly more self-motivated than anyone I’ve ever met. The trouble was, while she worked very diligently and was dedicated to doing something – she didn’t choose to take the time to learn the right way to approach the ACT. She had taken 6 actual ACTs and probably 20 different Practice ACTs on her own before coming to Get Smarter Prep – yet she wasn’t seeing the result she expected. The old adage, “perfect practice makes perfect” was not something she had ever adopted. When she took the time to learn the right strategies, her time spent practicing was much more fruitful.
Conversely, I’ve seen numerous students who are provided with an abundance of opportunities to learn the strategies necessary to do their best, but who are not willing to do the “heavy-lifting” of practicing and committing to them. Many of the strategies will stretch a student in a way they’ve never experienced – and if they aren’t willing to commit themselves to the strategies, there will be little room for growth. Because some of the strategies feel uncomfortable for a student at first, they choose to rely on their “school methods,” which are often times counter-productive on these unique tests.
ACT and SAT prep is always the most productive when students are able to commit to the two aforementioned things: adaptation to the strategies that are right for the test and spending time practicing the new concepts. If students are able to marry these two concepts, they will be well positioned to realize the goal score they set for themselves.
Caleb Pierce is a Tutor and the President at Get Smarter Prep