One of the greatest mistakes parents and students make in preparing for the ACT and SAT is to invest time and money in short-term test prep courses that emphasize strategy over content. While these courses can be effective for students who have already shown significant mastery of either test’s content, they cannot help those who need to review and master the verbal and mathematical skills that these tests assess.
The writing and language sections of the SAT and ACT, for example, are designed to measure how well students can read and respond to complex texts—especially on a collegiate level; therefore, the most effective way to prepare students is to help them to cultivate the long-term analytical, grammatical, and vocabulary building skills that will help them to become outstanding readers and writers both now and throughout their lives. These skills can usually be added through intensive, supplemental coursework over a period of six to twelve months. So if you’re looking for effective test preparation, focus on finding a content-based, long-term, skill-building course that teaches students the skills they really need to succeed; for the best test preparation will always be a great education.