PrepWell Podcast


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

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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