"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.