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Braingain Magazine Student Session: 5 Secrets to Acing Your Tests

Stuck on how to get started on tackling the standardized tests that are needed for U.S. university applications?
BY Braingain Staff Writer |   22-04-2014
(L to R) Lisa Jain, College Board India; Ambika Behal, Managing Editor of; Kavita Singh, CEO of FutureWorks Consulting
At's student sessions held at The Imperial in New Delhi in February, FutureWorks CEO Kavita Singh and College Board's Lisa Jain gave students tips on preparing to take those necessary standardized tests for U.S. university applications.

When should I take the SAT?
  • It's a good idea to take a diagnostic test before you sit the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). Taking the PSAT (Preliminary SAT) will give you an idea of how ready you are for the SAT, as well as help you figure out your ‘problem areas'. Additionally the PSAT score is not included in your final list of SAT scores.

  • It's recommended that you take the SAT in your 11th grade. Not only do you face less pressure at this stage (if you're in the Indian system, for instance, there are no Board exams breathing down your neck), but you have plenty of time to re-take the test if needed.

How do I prepare?

Students register for BGM's information session
  • Undergoing professional coaching for the SAT can be useful, especially if you are a student who needs help disciplining yourself. Certified College Board coaching centres can help you brush up, and can help you tackle problem-solving tactics.

  • Don't be afraid to retake the test if you think you can improve upon your score. At the same time, maintain realistic expectations for yourself. Don't put pressure on yourself to get the perfect score; as long as you're well ahead of the 75 percentile, you have no reason to worry. Don't compromise on the other components of your application just for the sake of a perfect SAT score.

Should I take the SAT or the ACT?

Students from multiple schools attended the BGM sessions
  • Both tests are accepted by universities across the U.S.; but do check which one the colleges you are applying to prefer. It is recommended that you take a diagnostic test on both and see how you do. However, here are some other considerations you should keep in mind before you make your decision:

    • - Unlike the SAT, the ACT has no negative marking.

    • - The ACT has a science section, which might make it harder for some students.

    • - The ACT is a shorter exam; time management might become an issue for some students.

    • - SAT coaching centres are more widely available in India than those offering ACT coaching.

5 Secrets to Acing your Test: Braingainmag com Student Session



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