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Is it true that the SAT/ACT is not based on studying, but based on mastering the general concept of the test? (I do not know if it is true, but many who have taken it says that it is true.)


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Candice’s Answer

I believe it is a mix. It is good to take practice tests so you become familiar with the types of questions that are asked on the ACT and SAT...as you practice, you begin to recognize the types of questions. However, you will have to study or familiarize yourself with some Math and English concepts to be able to answer some of the questions correctly. The key is really to take practice tests with the test time constraints because on test day, there are natural nerves and often you run out of time. So the more familiar you are with the types of questions and the managing your time, the better you will do.

Thank you. Zemira M.

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Brenda’s Answer

It is true. Although, you cannot underestimate the ability to comprehend and answer questions correctly. They measure what they say is your ability to learn on a collegiate level. I have worked in education for a while and I can tell you that this is not true. I know some students who have not done well on these standardized tests but have done very well once in school. In the end, a test does not define who you are or what you are capable of. Do your best and feel good about who you are.

Thank you! Zemira M.

I couldn't agree with this response more, Brenda! I was a straight-A student in school but was never the best at standardized tests. My recommendation is to take both the SAT and ACT so you can see which test you perform better on, Zemira. Not sure if it's the same anymore, but when I took these tests, points were deducted for wrong answers on the SAT so if you were unsure, it was best to skip the question. The ACT, on the other hand, encouraged that you answer all questions regardless of your certainty of an answer since points were not deducted for wrong answers. You have to see which test feels better for you and fits you best, but understanding how each operates/the strategy for each is key to going into both exams. Jennifer Hanlon

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Shelby’s Answer

It is definitely a mix of both. I was very studious in high school; I had only received one B throughout my education (K-12). And yet, I only scored slightly above average on both tests. I am studying to be a teacher now, and I have seen that it is a mix of both be knowledgeable and knowing how to answer the test questions. I did very minimal studying for both tests, so I believe that is why I scored lower than I had hoped. I would say use as many test-prep resources as you have available to you. Tutors and test-prep guides can get pretty expensive, but some math teachers at your school may offer after-school programs for preparation. Good luck, and I hope this helps!!

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Andrew’s Answer

Truthfully it is a mixture of both. The more practice tests you take the more you will definitely pick up on nuances and tips and tricks that fall into that category of "mastering the general concept of the test". I would definitely say studying is equally important and in general, the more time you spend on related things to both the ACT and SAT, the better off score-wise you are likely to be.

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Andrew’s Answer

Truthfully it is a mixture of both. The more practice tests you take the more you will definitely pick up on nuances and tips and tricks that fall into that category of "mastering the general concept of the test". I would definitely say studying is equally important and in general, the more time you spend on related things to both the ACT and SAT, the better off score-wise you are likely to be.

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