“I have to start prepping for the SAT/ACT…oh wait…my test got canceled.” How to Stay on Course and not Deviate when the Test Prep Road Ahead Seems Bleak…

by | Nov 5, 2021

Written by: Anitika Beesla

As I opened my email the last week of September, I saw an email from my student saying the same thing again. Not once, not twice, this was the third time my student’s test had gotten canceled. The endless studying for a projected finish line was moved yet again. I felt my heart drop. The overwhelming sense of defeat, anger, and helplessness took over. My student like many others had been diligent in their prep to take the test not once, not twice, but three times. Nothing had allowed the germination of their hard work to come to fruition. We were both frustrated and annoyed… feeling that were familiar. 

Over the last two years, the world has had to endure quite a bit of growing pains. Our students at Hamilton are no different. It is not easy being a teenager. Toss in a pandemic and canceled SATs and ACTs, and trying to get them to stay motivated to study enough to hopefully take the test next month is a next to impossible task. For many students taking the SAT and ACT, the subject matter is often a review of topics they have already mastered… Mastered and forgot. While combing through tests solving problems and reviewing test corrections, students will often take more time than what is required to solve. Learning something is a task students fulfill on a daily basis. Taking that newly learned thing and continuing to apply it way after the topic has been tested and concluded is not a practice most students indulge in. 

The hours spent pouring into problem-solving and reading math word problems can easily seem like a fruitless effort when the finish line doesn’t seem to be anywhere in sight. Times do not seem to be changing anytime soon. As we begin to adjust to our new normal…there is something else that we should normalize…staying on top of previously learned material. 

The skills students have ascertained throughout high school prepares them for the dreaded SAT and ACT. And in order to keep up with those skills and not allow the tests to get the better of them, it’s best to dedicate the time needed to brush up on the skills: 10 minutes daily. 

That’s it. You heard me: 10 minutes. 

This small chunk of time is palatable, do-able in the busiest of schedules, and allows for students to live a life outside of prepping for standardized tests. Because while it does pain me (as a math tutor) that my students have a life outside of test prep…I do understand that this is a harsh reality I must endure and come to terms with. Lol. 

I consistently have to remind my students that there is nothing on this test that they do not already know. They may not have seen a few things in a while, but the truth is their entire high school career has prepared them for the SAT and ACT test. Trust in your skills! Review your skills and implement them in your day-to-day schoolwork. You may just get your work done faster and explore life as a teenager beyond school and studying…whoa! The possibilities are to infinity and beyond…