by Lauryn Chavez | staff writer
Although SAT is the widely known and used exam to prepare for college, head counselor Courtney Tarbox adivses students to take the ACT as well.
“We really recommend that students take both, because some students may do better if they’re stronger in math and science-they may do better on the ACT or they may still do really well with the SAT, because we do the PSAT and prep aligned with that. We encourage students that are really serious about their college admissions to try both and whichever one they do the best on to take that one again and to have prep focused on that test,” head counselor Courtney Tarbox said.
While Tarbox recommends taking both tests, some students prefer only taking one.
“I honestly think it’s about whichever one is best for you, and sometimes colleges require you to take both or one. So whichever one you think you’ll perform best on is the one you want to take,” senior Illiana Ortiz said.
The choice of either ACT or SAT can come down to the differences in preparing for the tests.
“I do receive information from ACT, and we are starting to see where they’re offering more free online preparation, so definitely check out ACT’s website and look for that. Also, the district has purchased subscriptions for our students for somethings like SCHMOOP and other online programs. There are some books in the library, testing centers, for example, some college nannies and tutors provide free ACT testing where students can take a practice test then get their results back,” Tarbox said.
Unlike the SAT, where there are many available pretests, the ACT doesn’t offer any pretests for test takers.
“The PSAT was so easy it was literally a joke. I’ve never once studied for it before or took it seriously and I got commended on everything. When I took the SAT my Math score was lower,” senior Yessica Espinoza said.
Instead of taking only the PSAT as prep for the SAT, Espinoza recommends other study methods outside of school.
“Khan Academy is really good but I also went to tutors and they gave me different SAT study books I would do it every single week I would practice new skills and keep my brain working. I definitely recommend going in every week and making sure your math or english skills are still up to par or whatever subject you struggle with,” Espinoza said.
While the tests may seem opposing for some, Ortiz emphasizes that although it’s important to try and get a good score on the tests you will also be able to retake them.
“Honestly don’t be so scared. I remember the first time I took it I was so nervous but it’s really not that bad, it’s pretty much just like taking any other reading or math test. My advice would be don’t be so nervous because you have so many opportunities to retake it,” Ortiz said