The holidays are, now, behind everyone. Students are returning to school. And, if you are a Junior or Senior, the question most often heard is, "have you taken your SAT/ACT exam, yet?" Juniors have the advantage, they can take it now, achieve their score and now have to worry about it, throughout their Senior year. Or, if they don't get the score they want, they have time to take it, again.
What if you're a Senior? Of course, it's not too late. The College Board offers both the SAT and ACT exam multiple times in the Spring.
What if you've "forgotten" to prepare? Fear not! First thing you need to do, is take a breath. You can do it. It will take a lot of work, don't kid yourself, but it can be done.
You need to
1) Pick a test date. How far away is it? Count back to today. That's your time frame for preparing. If you're taking the SAT (w/o the Essay) divide up your time into the 3 sections. The ACT? 4 sections.
2) Take a practice exam. This will give you an idea of your strengths and what you need to focus on. My advice is to use the practice exams from the College Board. Those are real past exams.
SAT practice exams-https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/practice/full-length-practice-tests
ACT practice exams-http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act.html. In addition, the ACT site has a prep book you can purchase. That will have copies of the old exams. But you can use the practice questions, on their site, as well.
3) Plan on spending time, every day, preparing for the exam. Yes, every day. Set aside the time and it will pay off.
4) Take a couple practice exams, along the way, to keep an eye on what you need to improve.
5) Read, something, daily. The newspaper is the best choice, for many, but be careful. Not all newspapers are geared toward the same education level. Do some research and find one that is a little above where you are.
Of course, you can hire a tutor. A tutor will help you focus and that's what this is all about, right?
The important thing is to do it. Pick a date, make a plan and take the exam. And before you know it, you'll have taken the exam and be looking forward to going to college.
It's like any journey you will go on. It's a bit more stress free if you have a plan on getting there.