A few days ago

SAT, ACT, PSAT prep?

Lets say i’m preped for the SAT, am if preped for the PSAT, what about ACT? It seems to me that the PSAT is an esier SAT…am I right? Also, if I just use the books cause i’m already pretty good at the stuff, is that enough? Or do i really need to take prep classes? HOw much do prep classes cost? K tks for help Peace out!

Top 5 Answers
A few days ago

Favorite Answer

So… questions answered one at a time.

1. The ACT is very similar to the SAT, but without the essay section. It also includes a science section, with basic chemistry/physics/biology questions. The level of difficulty is roughly the same. Most colleges only require you to take one of the tests, but I believe there are a few out there that require the ACT. Take a look at the applications for the colleges you are considering – if they don’t require the ACT, you probably don’t need to bother with it.

2. The questions in the PSAT are actually about the same level of difficulty as in the SAT, but the test iteself is a lot shorter. If you haven’t taken it, I would suggest doing so, as it is great preparation for taking the SAT. Also, if your PSAT score is in the top 1-2%, you could end up a National Merit Scholar, which can mean BIG scholarship money.

3. Whether you need prep classes or not depends on what kind of a student you are – what level you are at academically, how you learn, etc. If you’ve taken Algebra II, Geometry, and a few years of high-school English, you’ve covered the necessary material. If you’ve done well in those classes, you’re probably set. The single biggest factor in your SAT scores, however, is simply how well you take tests.

If you’re the type of person who understands the material in math class but struggles with the tests, then yes, I would suggest taking a prep course. I knew lots of people like this in high school – people who were much smarter than me, but didn’t do as well on the SAT, simply because I had a knack for taking tests and they didn’t.

At the very least, I would suggest taking a practice test. You can find free practice tests, for both the ACT and the SAT, online. They’re a great way to assess your skills and get a feel for the real thing. Considering your scores on those tests can help you decide whether you want to take an official prep course or not.

4. Costs of “official” SAT prep courses vary widely by type and quality – a cursory internet search turned up everything from a $59 one-month online course to $3399 for 32 hours with a personal tutor. So what you really have to ask yourself is, “how much can I afford,” and “how much help do I need?” Personal tutoring is almost guaranteed to raise your scores, but if you’re confident in your current abilities, studying from books may be perfectly sufficient.

One thing I would definitely suggest practicing is the essay part. Try to find yourself a good editor, whether it’s a teacher, friend, or relative, and have them critique your writing according to the guidelines on the SAT website. The grading is somewhat subjective on this part of the test (which I personally dislike), but if you do well, it says good things about your communication skills.

Hope that helps – good luck!


A few days ago
prep is spendy, but worth it. Kaplan, a prep company, guarantees their methods. If you take their course and don’t get a higher score, you don’t have to pay. Their methods are very effective, but will run you a few hundred dollars to even around $1500 (if you’re prepping for more collegiate tests).

I’d recommend it. Colleges look a lot at those scores these days. It’s something that can really set you ahead of the pack.

Good Luck!


A few days ago
The PSAT is a Pre-SAT, not necessarily easier. The courses are good, I took one between tests, score went up 150pts. Not sure of the price – worth it though.

5 years ago
The practice test books are your best bet. Do as many practice tests as you can. Just so you know, you have to become a National Merit Finalist [top 1%, I believe] to qualify for any money, and even that won’t be a lot. [My son was a finalist and got $2500 a year. It depends on the school.]

A few days ago
The tests are published. Look at them.