PrepWell Podcast

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Ep. 12 | Should my child take the SAT or ACT?

In this episode, I walk you through PrepWell Academy’s strategy for determining which standardized test to take (SAT or ACT), when to begin studying, which study methods to use, and what to expect in terms of improvement.

Show Notes:

Today, we’re talking about how to approach the SAT and/or ACT - the two standardized tests that most colleges will use to assess your child’s readiness for college. This is a very important topic. As with most things related to college admissions, students and parents should get involved far sooner than they think - if they want to do well. That’s the entire point of this podcast, and PrepWell Academy - to give you the early head’s - to help you prepare early - so that your child can perform well. 

Here are some questions I address:

  • How do I approach these tests?
  • When should I take these tests?
  • Which test should I take?
  • What’s the difference between the tests?
  • How do I compare an ACT and SAT score?
  • Should I take one or both?
  • How big a deal is my score?
  • How many times should I take it? 
  • How much should I expect to improve?
  • What are the best ways to prepare for these tests?
  • What if I don’t want to take either test?

Here is what I discuss in this episode:

0:02:20 Where do standardized tests fit into the big picture of college admissions?
0:02:40 What are the top 3 factors in the admission process? 
0:03:48 What SAT score will hit the screen?
0:04:50 How a strong SAT score can earn you money?
0:05:09 Why is it important to learn how to study for a standardized test - regardless of outcome?
0:05:30 Standardized Tests I’ve taken: SAT, GMAT, ASVAB, MOCAT, Series 7, Series 63, ACE exam, Firefighter Civil Service Test, etc. 
0:06:36 Which students excel the most?
0:07:15 Which test do colleges prefer?
0:07:55 When should your child begin to think about the SAT or ACT?0:08:30 How to establish a strong baseline score?
0:08:50 When your child their their first legitimate PSAT
0:09:15 Does my child have to study for the PSAT 10?
0:09:51 Bad assumptions about PSAT 10 scores
0:12:12 How to predict how your child will do on the real PSAT/NMSQT or SAT in junior year
0:14:20 How can your child do to improve their score?
0:15:20 What PSAT score puts you in striking distance of any college
0:16:00 What accounts for large SAT and ACT score improvements
0:17:00 What is PrepWell's strategy to maximize SAT or ACT score
0:17:50 What is the first thing your child should do (and when)?
0:18:30 How to choose between ACT and SAT?0:19:45 What are the different scoring scales for SAT and ACT?
0:21:28 How to create a realistic test-taking environment
0:21:40 Should I take an official SAT and ACT?
0:22:00 What’s the best way to take a diagnostic SAT or ACT from home?0:22:45 How to come up with a study plan
0:23:20 Why not to study for the SAT or ACT during junior year
0:25:45 Why it’s nice to have a backup date
0:26:45 Summary of strategy and steps
0:27:38 What’s the most important piece of the puzzle?0:28:04 How motivated is your child?
0:29:30 Why some parents don’t want to pay for SAT/ACT prep?
0:32:40 Why an SAT/ACT prep course is a good use of money
0:33:33 What are my child’s options when it comes to preparation?0:34:44 What study method suits your child best? 
0:36:00 Student A versus Student B with same tutor
0:37:32 Summary of Steps
0:38:24 The time vs. expected improvement continuumIf you want to support the show, here are three immediate steps to take.  

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Podcast Host: PrepWell Academy's Founder, Phil Black, has spent a lifetime cracking the code on the world's most competitive programs: Yale University, Harvard Business School, Navy SEALs, Goldman Sachs, Entrepreneurship, Shark Tank, etc.Inside PrepWell Academy, Black teaches students everything they need to know about the college admissions process in a series of expertly-timed, 3-5-minute, weekly training videos starting in 9th grade and continuing through 12th grade [Note: this program can only be joined in 9th or 10th grade]. My specialties include military service academies, ROTC scholarships, Ivy League, and student-athletes.

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