Ivy Bound students have a wide diversity of study habits. There is no one habit that we can point to that correlates with high score increases EXCEPT: Taking timed practice tests.

Avoid Surprises on Test Day

Even well-prepared students can still have a bad test day. They have built their skills and learned test-taking techniques, but if they don’t put them into play multiple times in simulated test conditions, they can be more easily surprised.

We don’t like such surprises; students cap their study success by making test day as similar to their practice studies as possible. We ask our ACT and SAT students to take at least five full-length practice tests under timed conditions. We try to have them join us for two of those tests, either in-person or online with a proctor giving commands and keeping time through the computer.

Be Prepared for Tough Questions

Students who do multiple practice tests with us rarely report being badly surprised on test day. “Badly” deserves definition; almost every SAT and every ACT we’ve seen has some small surprise questions, but our students get used to doing battle with little surprises. They learn not to spend inordinate time on one question and not to fret when they are stumped by a question. Thus, even with little surprises they move on to crush the rest of the test and see the scores they are used to seeing in practice.

If timed practice tests using real ACTs or SATs are offered in your area, take advantage of them! Ivy Bound offers these as part of its ACT and SAT tutoring fees. Some months, Ivy Bound also offers timed free or inexpensive practice tests to the public. Contact us to learn when these free tests are being offered near you.