Standardized testing can be stressful and confusing for students. There are no specific classes designed to prepare students for these tests (with the exception of AP exams), so in many cases, students don’t know what to expect.
Should they take the SAT or ACT? Does it matter which test they submit to colleges? How much time should they commit to studying for the ACT or ACT? What’s considered a “good” SAT or ACT score? When is the best time for AP exams? What the heck does NMSQT stand for?
Each year, Signet hears these questions—and many others—from students and their families as they face the alphabet soup of standardized tests.
Don’t let the high school rumor mill influence your course of action. Check out this roundup of our top standardized testing resources to help you make sense of all those acronyms.
AP Test Prep
AP (Advanced Placement) tests are intended to follow the completion of a high school AP course in that same subject. There are 38 different subject areas—everything from AP Biology to AP European History to AP Music Theory. Most students take the AP exams during junior or senior year, but the timing can vary from one school to another.
AP courses themselves have some impact on college admissions since they demonstrate the rigor of a student’s courses. However, colleges generally want to see strong exam scores corresponding with a particular course. Students who receive high enough scores may receive credit hours from some colleges.
- How to Ace AP Classes—and the Exams, Too!
- Your AP Exam Study Plan
- AP Exam Prep: 4 Study Tips for Students
- Study Tips for the AP Calculus Exam
SAT/ACT Test Prep
One of the most significant touchpoints in a high school student’s journey is taking the SAT or ACT. These standardized tests are a rite of passage for students as they prepare for the college admissions process.
The SAT and ACT both cover basic reading, writing, and math skills that students are expected to acquire in high school. The SAT is scored out of 1600, and the ACT is scored out of 36. Colleges don’t care which test a student submits, so students have the opportunity to choose where to focus their test prep efforts.
Our philosophy at Signet is that the more students know what to expect from the SAT or ACT, the better chance they’ll have to plan for success.
- SAT, ACT, or Go “Test Optional?”
- Should You Take the SAT or ACT?
- Diagnostic ACT/SAT Tests: Why Do They Matter?
- How to Diagnose Timing Issues on a Standardized Test
- SAT/ACT Junior Year Test Prep Timeline & FAQs
- Is Your Junior’s Test Prep on Track?
- Standardized Testing in the Fall Semester
- 10 SAT and ACT Test Prep Tools and Resources
- 8-Week SAT or ACT Study Plan
- Preparation for the ACT Reading Section
- Preparation for the ACT Science Exam
- Preparing for the ACT English Test
- Preparing for ACT Math
- SAT Math: How to Stay Focused
Should I Take the PSAT?
Run and administered by the College Board, the Preliminary SAT and National Merit Scholars Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is an optional test offered to sophomores and juniors that serves as great practice for other standardized tests.
The PSAT/NMSQT determines whether students are eligible to be National Merit Scholars, opening them up to qualify for grant and scholarship funds. While only a small percentage of students earn this honor, the PSAT/NMSQT is still a valuable means of evaluating a student’s SAT potential.
- What’s the PSAT for, Anyway?
- Should My Sophomore Study for the PSAT?
- Making Sense of the PSAT Score Report
- How to Make Sense of the PSAT Score Report
Test Prep Tutoring
Many students don’t need test prep tutoring to prepare for the SAT or ACT. Following a clear self-guided test prep process may be sufficient. However, the option for test prep tutoring is always available should students want it.
We like to think of tutors in the same way we think about accountants for taxes or mechanics for cars. They are professionals who possess expert skills that can make accomplishing a specific task much quicker and more painless.
At Signet, our SAT and ACT test prep services are tailored to help students become familiar with the format, length, and questions associated with whichever test they are planning to take. We also offer GMAT and GRE prep and tutoring services.
- Which Style of Test Prep Is Right for You?
- How to Self-Study for a Standardized Test
- Is One-on-One Test Prep Better Than a Class?
- Signet Test Prep Tutoring
Reading individual blog posts on our website is a great way to focus on highly specific topics of interest pertaining to test prep. But sometimes it’s helpful to have one big resource where you can find all the information you need. Enter. . . Signet’s guides.
Download and bookmark our guides to standardized tests and SAT/ACT preparation so that you can reference back to them when needed.
You Can Conquer Standardized Testing
Remember that despite how it may feel, standardized testing wasn’t designed to stress you out and confuse you. It’s simply a method for testing students that is intended to control for variations in schools, teachers, and classroom environments. It’s also a way of leveling the playing field when college admissions officers view students’ college applications.
With the right approach, any student can conquer standardized testing and be well on their way to the next stop in their journey. For personalized support from Signet’s expert test prep tutors, please don’t hesitate to reach out.