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Why I Don’t Hate The ACT/SAT

A Teen’s Perspective by Charly Frisk

Though I am no professional on taking the ACT or SAT, nor can I promise that reading this will score you a 36 or a 1600, I can guarantee that these tips might help take away the sting of those four hour tests.

First, do not stress. I know, easier said than done. However, stressing out can have harmful effects on your emotional as well as physical state – not to mention your overall ability to perform well on your exam. Taking these tests can seem a bit scary, but you cannot let your fear of these tests take over your confi dence in your ability to succeed. There always lies a chance for failure in everything you do, but did that ever stop those who got far in life? Now, I am most certainly not claiming that you should ignore the fact that there is a possibility of low scores. I am simply claiming that you should not let this fact consume you. Put the energy you are using on stressing yourself out into studying and preparing yourself. Just don’t overwhelm yourself. Know your limits. For some people, only small amounts of studying will be necessary. For others, they want to study an hour a night.

Second, scores aren’t everything, they are just a part of your college application. If you get low scores, you can always make up for it in higher GPA, essays, involvement, or…you know…this thing called personality. Yes, for some colleges, the scores will matter more. However, know that just because you have scores that are below average, it does not mean that you will not get in anywhere. As long as you are showing that you are a hardworking, community-minded student with acceptable grades, it is almost granted that you will get acceptance somewhere. Know that you are more than a number. You are a living, human being. Scores do not determine who you are or what you will be in life. I cannot stress this enough. Just because you got a lesser score does not mean you are lesser of a person or have less worth.

Third, use Khan Academy. Not only does it do a pretty good job preparing you for your exam, but it also increases your confidence in your ability to succeed. The website (khanacademy.org) has a clean, user-friendly design that truly prepares one for the exams. Although it only has an SAT program, the ACT and SAT are getting to be so similar that it does not really matter.

Fourth, take a break. If you spend your whole night doing homework and studying for the ACT and SAT tests, you will miss out on life. There is more to life than staying at home and staring at books and websites that promise you a higher score on your tests. Let me explain. What makes life worth living? It is not the score you get on a test you put on a college application. It is not spending hours upon hours studying until you have mental breakdowns. It is not stressing yourself out over every single failure you face. It is people. So go out and connect. Get a good group of friends and hang out. Take the opportunity to create strong relationships with other people. It is experiencing. As I said before, college applications do not just check for your test score. They see if you are a kind of person that gets involved. A kind of person that can make a difference. Do something with your time. Studying is important, I am not saying it is not, but there is something more. Find a balance between educating yourself about academics and social interactions.

I hope that these tips will inspire some hope in you and I wish you the best luck in taking these exams!

Until next time…