Taking the SAT and ACT: Test Prep 101

Blog Header: Taking the SAT and ACT - Test Prep 101

We know tests aren’t the most exciting part of the application process, but if you’re planning to go to college you should also be planning to take the SAT, ACT, or both.

We consider a wide range of factors when processing applications at Colorado State, and test scores help give us an idea of your academic preparedness, entry into competitive majors, and admissions-based scholarship applications. Our primary goal is to make sure you will be academically successful during your time in Fort Collins.

Getting ready to take the exams

We hear it all the time: test taking is stressful. That’s why we put together some of our favorite test-taking tips to help you ace your next exam. Our counselors are also available to talk about test scores and preparedness whenever you need a helping hand.

  1. Get the lay of the land. Go to the SAT or ACT website and learn about the test format and content before answering a single question.
  2. See yourself taking the test. Visualization is important. Imagine yourself in the test-taking area and get comfortable with the experience.
  3. Plan your route. Even if you know the area where the test will take place well, it’s important to prepare your travel route and arrangements. There’s nothing worse than running late on test day.
  4. Take a practice test. Don’t be intimidated by the tough questions. Find a practice test online and give it a try. Then, take a close look at problem areas so you know what to work on while you’re studying.
  5. Develop a study plan. Write down your problem areas and develop a study plan. Stick to it. Cramming the night before won’t do you any good on these types of exams.
  6. Dress comfortably. We recommend dressing in layers and wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident.
  7. Gather your materials. There are required materials for each test. Gather them now and make a list so you can double check that you have everything on test day.
  8. Take 5. Even if it’s just a few minutes every day, run through a few practice questions. Small periods of concentration will add up over time, especially while you balance your busy schedule.
  9. Find support you can trust. Have a coach or teacher that can help you with a trouble area? Ask them if they have a few minutes to go over some test-taking techniques or test material that you’re struggling with.
  10. Take a deep breath. The best thing you can do for yourself before taking the test is to believe in yourself. Take time to relax, visualize, and, most importantly, trust that you are going to do your best on the exams.

You’ve got this

You prepared, you learned, and you’re about to conquer this test. Believe in yourself and give it your best effort.

There are just two more things you need before test day: the Colorado State test codes. Use these codes while you’re registering for your exam to automatically send us your score. We’ll keep in on file for your application which will speed up the process when you’re ready to apply.





Taking the test more than once

That’s a good idea. You’re sure to have fewer nerves and you can concentrate on problem areas leading up to your second exam.

In addition, Colorado State superscores your exams meaning that we take the highest subscores from all of your attempts and use that for our consideration. In other words, a low score or a bad day will never count against you if you have other better scores on record.