Should You Retake the SAT or ACT?

No Comments 02 November 2017

If you have received your ACT or SAT test scores, there is a good chance that you are wondering if you need to take one of the tests again. Here are some things to consider if you think you need to retake the SAT or ACT.

Did any unforeseen circumstances pop up last time? You could feel prepared, but could have come down with an illness or faced a significant issue at the time of the test. Another try could make all the difference.

Did you study enough? Maybe you did not have the time to prepare or you realized you could have studied more. If you believe extra test prep is what would take to bump your score, you should study and retake the test.

Need to get into a difficult academic program? Some academic programs require a certain ACT or SAT score in order to be accepted. Compare your results to the college’s expectations. If fall just below, it’s worth your time to retake the test to see if you can meet the requirement.

Looking for more scholarships? There are scholarships for every kind of student, but it is no secret that higher test scores open the door to certain scholarships. If you think there’s a chance that you could improve your test scores, it would definitely be worth retaking the tests.

As always, remember to keep your College Greenlight profile up-to-date so that we can match you to the best scholarships for you. The ACT is offering a test on December 9 and the SAT is offering a test on December 2. As soon as you decide if you want to retake the ACT or SAT, register.


How To Know If You Need to Retake the ACT

No Comments 08 March 2017

Students can retake the ACT up to 12 times. But the real question is, should you retake the test? Ask yourself the following questions to see if retaking the ACT is the right move for you.

Are You A Sophomore Or Junior?

If the material on the test confuses you, it might not be your fault. The ACT contains material that students might not encounter until the end of their junior year. If you prepare during the summer, you might have a better chance of improving your score if you take the test during the end of your junior year or beginning of your senior year.

What Scores Are Necessary For The Colleges On Your List?

Enter one of the colleges on your list into Cappex’s Scattergram. Then, enter your GPA and ACT scores. The Scattergram shows you where you compare to other students admitted to this school. Repeat this with every school on your list. If your ACT score tends to be below average, it might be a good idea to retake the test.

How Many Times Have You Taken The ACT?

It is true that the more times you take the ACT, the more likely you are to raise your score. But it has been proven that generally, after taking the ACT three times, your score will not improve. If this is the case for you, and you still haven’t reached the ideal ACT score for your dream college, you might need to reevaluate what college would be best for you.

Is Your Ideal Score Realistic?

Raising your ACT score by a few points will require hard work, but it is possible. Make sure, however, that you do not set unrealistic goals for yourself. Know yourself and know your academic abilities. If you are disappointed with the score you end up with, remember that colleges look at more than just your ACT scores when they are considering you for admission.

How Did You Prepare for the ACT?

If you prepared for the ACT on your own and are not happy with your scores, you should reevaluate how you study. Look into ACT prep classes or one-on-one tutoring sessions. There also are a variety of free resources that can help you prepare for the test. Find a resource to match your learning style, and you may see a huge difference the next time you take the ACT.


Free SAT Prep

No Comments 28 February 2017

Preparing for the SAT doesn’t have to cost a thing. Here are free resources for SAT prep:

Veritas Prep

This program offers free SAT classes and SAT video tips. This course is an opportunity to increase your test score. The instructor has a 99th percentile SAT score and thousands of hours of SAT teaching experience. You’ll learn strategies for vocabulary-in-context questions and the math tests. Vertias Prep guarantees this class will raise your score by 30 points.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers a personalized SAT practice program for free. You can import your PSAT/NMSQT results to pinpoint areas you should practice. This program provides thousands of practice questions, video lessons and hints. Once you are ready, you get seven full-length practice tests. You’ll consistently receive feedback to know where you need to improve.

Prep Factory

This website aims to make studying for the SAT fun. This website offers games that will test your vocabulary, math and grammar skills. Between the games, take a look at the SAT strategy modules to learn the best strategy to tackle the test. Once you have completed the modules, try one of the practice tests. Each test includes a step-by-step breakdown for how to approach each question.

Mometrix Academy

This is a free resource provided by Mometix Test Preparation. The program offers a math, reading and writing review. After you have completed the reviews, you can take a practice test in each of these areas. If you feel you have benefited from the free program, you can move on to Mometrix’s paid SAT study guide and flash card study system.


4Tests is site dedicated practice exams. The website offers two 50-question math and evidence-based reading tests. Each practice test has been crafted to reflect the contents of the 2017 SAT. The website goes into detail about what the SAT is all about and what you can expect from each section.


Free ACT Test Prep

No Comments 07 February 2017

ACT test prep doesn’t have to come with a price tag. The following resources are free and designed to help you perform to the best of your abilities on the exam. Test scores are a huge factor for college admittance, so take advantage of as many of these tools as you can.


4Tests provides tutorials to study every topic on the ACT. If you have questions about what you learned, visit 4Tests’ forums to connect with other users. Once you feel confident enough, take a free ACT practice provided by 4Tests.


The source of the test is a great place to go for ACT test prep. Although there are paid resources on the website, ACT offers free test tips, a downloadable study guide and an ACT question of the day to help give you a feel for the test.


This website allows you to view tutorials, answer practice questions and create flashcards for the ACT. Number2 adapts its course based on your skill level; it keeps track of what you’ve studied and your progress. You’ll receive feedback for each incorrect answer on practice tests. With all these features, plus the vocabulary builder and study plan email system, you will be ready to take the ACT in no time.

Union Test Prep

Union Test Prep shares all the need-to-know details about the ACT before you take the test. The website informs you how the test is scored, what it costs, what you need to bring with you on the day of the test and more. Once you know all the necessary information about the ACT, check out the practice tests, flashcards and study guides that Union Test Prep offers.

Your School

Many schools offer ACT review sessions for materials you might not have covered. You can take notes, study with your peers, take practice ACTs and ask your teacher any questions.

Admissions, Tests

The ACT vs New SAT: What’s the Difference?

No Comments 11 April 2016

For decades, students have had to weigh their options whether they should the ACT, SAT or both.  With the changes to the SAT that took place in March of 2016, students may be even more confused as to how these tests are different.

While there are a few large differences, in a lot of ways, the tests are very similar.   First off, the scoring range for the SAT is from 400-1600 and the ACT scores range from 1-36.  Additionally, as of the SAT change this year, neither test penalizes you for guessing.  That means whether the guess is at random or educated, you should answer every question on both tests.

The reading sections remain somewhat similar, with the new SAT having five passages and the ACT having four.  The questions overall may now be more complex and time-consuming for SAT takers, while the ACT questions are more straightforward.

With the changes to the new SAT, now writing an essay for both tests is optional.   The SAT essay has a 50 minute time limit and will give you a prompt that asks you to evaluate an existing argument.  On the other hand, the ACT’s 40-minute essay will ask you to come up with your own argument and use evidence to support it.

The math sections also have some slight differences.  The basic content will generally include algebra, geometry, and trigonometry for both tests, however the answer options differ slightly, as all ACT math questions are multiple choice and the SAT now has a few fill-in-the-blank questions.   One big difference here is that you will not be able to use your calculator on all math sections of the SAT, while ACT math section remains entirely calculator-friendly.

Two relatively large differences between the two tests are that the SAT doesn’t have a science section, while the ACT does.  Timing is also a huge factor, as the pacing of each test is different: the SAT requires more time per question or problem while the ACT questions and timing are more fast-paced.

So how do I choose?

There are a few ways to decide which test is right for you.    For starters, thinking about your test-taking and academic strengths and weaknesses can give you a good idea where you will excel.  Students who enjoy scientific studies might want to consider the ACT as the SAT doesn’t have a science section.   On the other hand, students who like to think through questions may want to take advantage of the SAT’s more lax time restraints versus taking the ACT.

Another way to compare the two would be to take a look at the free practice tests offered through each test’s official website.  (Visit the ACT practice packet here and the SAT practice tests here.)  Whether you actually take the full tests or simply read through the questions with the time limits in mind, this can be one of the best ways to get a first-hand idea what each test can possibly be like when you sit down for the real thing.


Regardless of the test you decide to take, don’t forget to update your College Greenlight profile with your scores to improve your list of colleges and scholarships you’ll be matched with!






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