April 1, 2022

The One about Test Prep

The SAT and ACT can cause a lot of anxiety in the college admissions process. We want to help you understand the process and develop a testing strategy. 

Why do we take standardized tests like the SAT or ACT?

High school curriculums vary widely throughout the country. GPAs are calculated differently at each school, and even the courses offered may be different. Because of this, colleges use a standardized test score to help determine college readiness and predict success in college. 

When should I take the SAT or ACT?

The SAT and ACT have significant amounts of Algebra II in the math portions; therefore, we recommend taking the test near the end of or after a student has completed Algebra II. 

How many times may I take the SAT or ACT?

You can take the ACT up to 12 times and there is no limit for the SAT.


Can I improve my test score?


The test is a content-based test, meaning you CAN learn the content. Taking a standardized test is a skill, a skill you CAN perfect. The SAT and ACT are like final exams where the teacher tells you the concepts that will be tested and publishes all the past tests for practice. 

Are some people bad at taking tests?


We all have different skill sets, and perhaps taking tests is not your jam. However, there is a difference between not being good at something and not trying to be good at something. Effort and attitude make a huge difference. 

Do your test prep classes guarantee a score increase?

Absolutely NOT! 

Showing up to class and going through the motions is not enough. It’s essential to work on your areas of weakness and your personal strategies outside of class so that it clicks for you. We give as many practice problems, resources, and tips as possible, but like any coaching situation, the player has to practice the skills and then perform on test day. 



Do schools prefer the ACT or SAT?

Colleges do not care.  We promise! Take the test that you perform better on. Our market tends to be SAT-focused since our public schools give the PSAT twice and the SAT to all juniors. We have resources in the office to show students the differences between the two tests. We also have printed practice tests for students to pick up anytime.

How do I register for the test?


  • PSAT:  Registration is arranged through the school. Homeschoolers can find a local private school to sit for the PSAT. Ask us for contact information.  


  • Schoolwide SAT or ACT in 11th grade: No need to sign up! And it’s free!



  • National ACT dates: Visit www.act.org to register. 


What’s a good score? 

It depends! Your test scores are one piece of your admission package. A good score depends on:

  • – The average scores of admitted students at the schools on YOUR list.
  • – The score-based scholarship thresholds that YOU are striving to earn.
  • – The testing policy for admissions at the schools on YOUR college list.
  • – The well-roundness of the rest of YOUR college application.  
  • – The score requirements for the majors or honors programs YOU are applying to. 

Class 101 Cypress is here to help answer your testing questions and formulate a testing plan to reach your individual goals. 

Written by: Kathy Jones

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