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"Procrastination is your enemy." | A UVA Student's SAT/ACT Advice


We had the privilege of interviewing Daniel S. via Google Doc and asked for some experience about: the SAT/ACT


  • a student at the University of Virginia

  • tennis team captain in high school

  • had the highest total IB exam score award of his class

  • 34 on ACT, 1480 on SAT

Here are some important words he shares:

  • " I think a tutor is helpful to keep you accountable and explain things a little better than you probably could to yourself, but it’s in no way necessary."

  • "I would recommend not taking the SAT/ACT lightly; you don’t want to be blindsided when the day comes."



Q: How was your daily routine structured when practicing for SAT/ACT? Did you have one or did you study when you had time?

A: Honestly, I didn’t really have a specific routine for preparing for the SAT/ACT. I just did practice problems here and there when I had time. But that probably won’t work for everyone; some people might need a daily routine and some might not.






Q: What resources did you use?

A: I mainly used practice SAT/ACT books that I found on Amazon from Kaplan and College Board. My parents signed me up for a couple classes, but I will admit that those classes were, in my opinion, very useless and did not help me in the slightest; they were a waste of money basically.




Q: Did you use a tutor? Were they helpful?

A: I had a tutor for English throughout my freshman through junior year of high school. They prepared me a little bit for the SAT/ACT, as English/Reading is not my strong suit. I think a tutor is helpful to keep you accountable and explain things a little better than you probably could to yourself, but it’s in no way necessary.




Q: When did you start preparing?

A: I think my parents sent me to a summer camp in like 8th grade for the SAT, but that was before the SAT was restructured. But I didn’t really start taking it “seriously” until I had to prepare for the PSAT around sophomore year.





Q: What are some mistakes you made at first that you overcame? How?

A: At the beginning I really did not take preparation seriously and I brushed off a lot of serious studying until summer before junior year, and even then my study schedule was almost nonexistent for a long time. I would recommend not taking the SAT/ACT lightly; you don’t want to be blindsided when the day comes.




Q: Did you do the writing portion? Why or why not?

A: I did the writing portion for the SAT once because even though it wasn’t required, I thought that I might as well do it to hopefully make my application look a little bit better. Needless to say, my score was not great; it was pretty bad honestly. I don’t even fully remember if I ended up submitting the SAT writing portion, because I sent my ACT score in the end.



Correction from previous post: Interviewee name is Daniel S., not Daniel W.