ACT / SAT Secrets from the Top 2% | Tulsa Tutoring

By Dominick Cooper, Founder and Director of Launch Academy Tutoring Company, ACT and SAT Prep Guru, University Guest Speaker on Education, and 2013 Nominee of Tulsa Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Every year, over 1 million students around the United States take either the ACT or SAT. While is proported that these tests are “designed to see how well you would do in a collegiate academic environment,” the real purpose of the test comes down to two things.

1. Acceptance to College

2. Scholarships & Grants

Aside from those 2 goals, the ACT and SAT have no purpose in everyday life. Heck, even your grades have no purpose other than that in everyday life!

While this may hurt some of you Valedictorians and Summa Cum Laude, find comfort in this. Your grades don’t make you successful – the work ethic that got you those grades does.

Now, regardless, students still have to take either the ACT or SAT and, with millions of dollars hanging in balance, your score can either make you money or cost you money.

At Launch Academy Tutoring Company, all our tutors are required to have scored a 30 or higher on the ACT, putting them in the top 5% nationally. If you score in a 32 or higher (which most of our tutors have), then you are in the top 2%.

Here are the top 3 tips our tutors have for students planning on taking either the ACT or SAT:

These test are 25% Academic, 25% Luck, and 50% Test Prep:

The meaning of these has multiple levels. It shows that you can’t just “study” for this test and do well on it. These tests measure the cumulative knowledge you’ve gained in the past 4-5 years of school.  If you’ve on put in half-donkey work in those years, this test will NOT be your friend.

On the same token, 25% of the test is luck, so you may get lucky and it will test you on the majority of the concepts you do remember – I’ve seen it happen.

Above all else though, if you have a strong academic background, study for this test like you would other tests. Take practice tests, review concepts, and maybe get a tutor if you need one.

Timing is Everything. Reading Comprehension is almost Everything.

The reason most students do poorly on the ACT and SAT is they either don’t finish the sections in time (a recipe for score suicide) or they don’t understand what the questions are even asking (the topping you put on the recipe for score suicide).  Both of these are major issues but they can be remedied in a few different ways:

1. You can time yourself and get used to the pacing. With the ACT and SAT, I would time myself at a rate FASTER than what was allotted – it’s the concepts as “over training.”

2. You can invest in a speed reading program or reading comprehension software. There are plenty of these on the market. We like the ACE Reader Software.

Whatever puts in the best frame of mind, do that.

This may sound silly but, even to this day, when I take an ACT, I always bring 2 Red Bulls and a bag of beef jerky. Why? Because they make me feel great! Now, before the energy drink police comes to arrest me, I do not consume red bull or beef jerky like this regularly. But, on a test day, DO IT!

  • Do you feel great when your hair is all clean after a shower? Do that!
  • Do you feel more confident when you wear those argyle socks? Break em out!
  • Does Eminem or Hans Zimmer make you want to take over the world and conquer everything? Get pumped!

You get the picture. Picture yourself succeeding and you will! Now, there are some staple things that puts EVERYONE in a better mood:

  1. Get a good nights sleep (at least 8 hours)
  2. Do some light calesthenics when you wake up. Jumping jacks, lunges, push ups, etc.
  3. Have a high protein, low-glycemic breakfast
  4. Brush your teeth and wash your face
  5. Wake up at least an hour prior to the test to give you ample time to “wake up”
  6. Set all your things (calculator, pencils, test ticket, ID, etc) in whatever car is taking you to the testing site.

Do you have other recommendations? Leave them in the comments below!

– DC

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