Although teachers can’t sit with students during the SAT or ACT tests, they certainly can do a lot before the test to help students score well. Test preparation is a truly a group effort. When teachers and school administrators take initiative and lead students toward better test scores, everyone benefits.

Most high school teachers make college prep a normal part of their curriculum. But before students can even get to college, they need to score well on the SAT or ACT. That’s why it’s so important for teachers to assist with test prep as part of their regular instruction.
Here are five ways that teachers can get involved with ACT and SAT test prep. 

test prep map1. Prepare students by educating them on the format of the test.

You can’t make a journey unless you have a map and students can’t score well on the test unless they know the test format. Understanding the format can help students grasp the “lay of the land” and know what to expect from the ACT or SAT. Knowing how many sections there are to the test, what type of questions will be asked in each section and how those sections are weighed can help students make critical decisions on where to spend their time during the test.

2. Use practice tests so students become comfortable with the test taking process.

Practice tests can help familiarize students with the format of the SAT or ACT. Even students who are good traditional test takers need to get to know the college prep test format. Practice tests should be a regular part of the curriculum leading up to the actual test because they reduce stress and make students more confident about the test. 

3. Connect in-class material with college prep test material.

One of the things that makes students so nervous about the ACT or SAT is that they think the test will be covering knowledge that they don’t have. While both tests have unique question formats and may cover some advanced vocabulary or math concepts, a lot of what is tested is already being covered in the classroom. By relating classroom work with SAT or ACT prep, students will begin to see that they are capable of scoring well. 

4. Cover the subject matter content most likely to be on the test.

Giving a general overview of the subject matter that will be on the test will help get students ready to succeed. For example, a math teacher can do a few sessions of review to cover the basic math concepts on the test. A language arts teacher can have a special session dedicated to teaching the critical reading part of the test. This can enhance regular classroom material and make students more prepared for the test. 

5. Offer helpful test taking advice.

Prepping for the test is more than reviewing the material and understanding the format. There are other factors that go into test taking – like getting a good night’s sleep, taking the right supplies and knowing which sections to focus on. Test taking advice should be a regular part of ACT or SAT test prep.


Interested in learning more about how you can support your students? Sign up for our webinar to understand how method test prep can help every student in your school increase their SAT and ACT scores.


Photo by paukrus