SAT / ACT Prep Options
Options available for SAT/ACT test prep through outside individuals and organizations listed below alphabetically and in no order of preference. Please click on the links below for further information on these offerings.
RHS Guidance Perspective on Test Prep
Standardized testing is an integral part of the college application process, and the importance of preparation cannot be minimized. Just as one would not expect to host a holiday meal, attend an interview, or set off on a vacation without adequate planning, students need to establish a test preparation strategy and schedule early in their junior year.
With this in mind, the guidance department recommends that all juniors take the PSAT, which will be administered on October 13th of this year. The results of this exam can be instrumental in determining their areas of strength and, more importantly, weakness. Once students know where to focus their energies, they can begin either formal or informal preparation for the SAT and the ACT.
There are numerous ways to prepare for standardized tests. You can hire tutors who work independently or with local or national companies. They offer everything from individual tutoring to small group and large group sessions which students can take advantage of after school, in the evenings and on weekends. Some popular tutors/programs are noted on the Guidance website, but we are aware that many other fine options are available. We would appreciate your letting us know if you have any additional recommendations. For the more self-motivated pupils, SAT and ACT review books can be purchased and reviewed by the students on their own time. Another important consideration is your budget: these approaches vary in cost from several hundred to more than a thousand dollars—with cost not being in direct correlation to score improvement. Before beginning your juniors’ test preparation, it is in your best interest to develop a testing plan for them. As a general rule, your counselors do not recommend taking any standardized tests in the fall of junior year (despite the recommendations of some testing companies). We believe that students should take advantage of the insights offered by the results of their PSAT tests as well as the additional knowledge they gain through their subjects in the first semester. This general rule, however, can and should be reconsidered based on your child's schedule. As with all things, please consider your children’s current workloads in making these decision. A very strong 11th Grade students might consider taking the SAT in December if she anticipates a particularly busy spring semester. Our strongest students need to consider, too, whether and when to take SAT Subject Tests. May SAT dates are often used for this purpose since May is the month for AP exams.
For most students, March, May, and June are the typical SAT exam dates, while February, April, and June are the most popular months for the ACT. The SAT recently launched an August exam, and the ACT responded by initiating a July exam. If necessary, these tests can be repeated in your children’s senior year, but please do not allow them to wait until that October or November to take these exams for the first time.
The strategies for establishing your children’s personal testing schedule are as varied as their personalities, academic abilities, and extra-curricular schedules. If you have difficulty coming up with your own plan, please do not hesitate to contact your guidance counselor for assistance.