The SATs and ACTs: Make them work for Y-O-U
The SATs and ACTs should never define who you are but rather are a necessary part of every student’s college admissions journey. As I always say to my students, “no regrets” when you put down that deposit May 1 of your senior year on the college you will attend, never saying “I wish I studied more, prepared more”. A few nights of cramming, or stressing over how you’ll do is not the answer. What is the answer? Calm preparation. After all, you won’t absorb years of classes in a few months, so it’s best to maximize what you know, AND learn helpful tactics for making the most of taking the test.
The best place to start is to understand your PSAT scores, take the ACT as well and see where you score, and match it to some colleges average scores for entering freshman to see where you fall. It’s always OK to shoot for the stars where your score(s) are not in the range of the school you had your heart set on. As I say, though, you always have to have at least 1 school on your list that you know you will get into that you will be happy attending.
Say you get a 1200 after all of your preparation. Then, search for schools where your score fits their range. Depending on your scores vs. the school’s mid 50% range of entering freshman, there may be more merit aid available as you climb into their upper percentile.
Don’t let the SAT and ACT tests freak you out. I can assure you, if you are motivated to attend college there are schools for you. Rather, take what you know and make it work for you. So many students ask me “What score should I get” and I tell them, it’s not about a target score but about maximizing your score and making it work for you to find your right set of college matches. And never forget, PREPARE!