ACT/SAT/PSAT Test Prep Software
The ACT and SAT standardized tests play an integral role in the college admissions process. Naturally, getting high scores on these exams will enhance your child’s chances of getting accepted into his or her preferred colleges. We recommend that students take the ACT and SAT for the first time during their junior year, although test prep will ideally begin at least by the sophomore year.
Our Test Prep Software
Your Guidance Office is pleased to offer state-of-the-art ACT/SAT/PSAT test prep software. Our software has been thoroughly vetted by expert college coaches, and it has been proven to raise scores. It provides a comprehensive review of the information that students need. Furthermore, it’s updated yearly, allowing students to stay on top of the latest changes to these standardized tests.
Our test prep software includes the following:
- Plenty of practice tests
- Test-taking tools designed to improve performance
- Live scoring
- Progress reports
In short, students will be able to easily evaluate their performance and identify areas that require more work. And because the progress reports allow students to assess their success, students are continually motivated to work toward even better scores.
Frequently Asked Questions About the ACT, PSAT, and SAT Exams
We know it can be confusing to wade through a sea of college planning acronyms. The following FAQs and answers can help you understand the basics.
What is the PSAT?
The Preliminary SAT exam is like a practice exam for the SAT. However, it offers much more than just hands-on practice; it can also qualify your child for the National Merit Scholarship, depending on which PSAT your child takes—see below.
What are the different versions of the PSAT?
There are now three versions of this exam:
PSAT 8/9: This is the first in the suite of PSAT tests. It’s offered to eighth and ninth graders. This exam is taken solely for practice purposes. It’s shorter than the other exams, yet still covers these areas: reading, writing and language, and math.
PSAT 10: The PSAT 10 is a practice exam intended for sophomores. It’s essentially the same test as the PSAT/NMSQT. However, the PSAT 10 does not qualify students for college funding aid. It’s offered in the spring.
PSAT/NMSQT: This practice test, which is offered in the fall, allows students to qualify for the National Merit® Scholarship Program. Students who are taking this exam must do so in their junior year. Each year, approximately 7,600 Finalists will receive notification that they have secured funding for college through this program. It’s a competitive scholarship program, yet one that is certainly within reach for motivated students.
Does my child really need to take the PSAT?
YGO does recommend that students take at least one version of the PSAT, ideally the PSAT/NMSQT for the purposes of qualifying for financial aid. In addition, taking more than one PSAT can be helpful for students, particularly those who struggle with test-taking confidence.
What is the SAT?
Whereas the PSAT is optional, yet strongly recommended, the SAT may be required or optional for college-bound students. Taking the test when it is optional gives the students an advantage over those students that do not take it. Since 1933 when Harvard began using the SAT to assess applicants’ intellectual capabilities, the SAT has been the gold standard of college admissions. It measures crucial skills, such as language comprehension and computational ability.
What topics does the SAT cover?
The SAT is actually three tests in one. It contains a reading test, writing and language test, and a math test.
How long is the SAT?
The entire test is three hours long. Students will have a brief break after every hour of testing.
What is the score range?
The highest possible score on the SAT is 1600. The average score is subject to fluctuations from one year to the next, but generally hovers around 1059. Note that it’s perfectly normal for a student to have a lower than expected score the first time. If the SAT is taken for the first time in the spring of 11th grade, students can retake the SAT during their senior year.
What is the ACT?
The ACT is a standardized test used by colleges to assess student applicants’ suitability for admission, much like the SAT. Most schools will accept either SAT or ACT scores, although students can submit both scores if they wish.
Should my student consider taking both the ACT and the SAT?
It wouldn’t hurt! If your student achieves a high score on both exams, he or she can submit both scores to colleges. This can help demonstrate that your student is a hard-working over-achiever who is committed to academic success. Plus, there is another reason why it doesn’t hurt to take both tests. If your student does well on one exam, but not the other, he or she can submit only the higher score.
How is the ACT different from the SAT?
The ACT is comparable in length—three hours and 35 minutes with the optional essay. It’s also similar in subject coverage. The ACT tests students’ knowledge and skills in English, reading, and math. However, unlike the SAT, the ACT also includes science questions.
What’s a good ACT score?
The highest possible score on the ACT is 36. The average score hovers around 21. A 21 or 23 is a reasonable score for most colleges. However, if your student is aiming for acceptance at a top-tier school, such as an Ivy League college, he or she will need a score of 32 to 35.
The test prep software available from Your Guidance Office can help your student achieve higher scores on these standardized tests. If you aren’t yet working with one of our private college coaches, we recommend scheduling a no-obligation Student Enrollment interview to find out if YGO is right for your family. Contact us today to get started.
Your Compass to Future Success
As you can see, the college readiness process is an in-depth, lengthy endeavor that can be difficult for a family to navigate on its own. With the college readiness coaching services from Your Guidance Office, your student can become better positioned for a successful outcome. Contact us today to request a no-obligation Student Enrollment interview.