When it comes to the SAT and ACT, just deciding how to prepare can be daunting. If you don’t have time for the traditional preparation process—practice tests, tutoring, flashcards, etc.—there is still something you can do to help boost your test scores.
Both the SAT and ACT have significant reading requirements. You can practice your critical reading skills with a news article or magazine piece; ask yourself about the main points and supporting arguments. Summarize the main ideas in a single sentence. If you prefer fiction, pick up a short classic, such as Louisa May Alcott’s The Inheritance (192 pages) or John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row (181 pages) and ask those same questions—what is the point? How does the author make that clear? This is a quick and easy way to sharpen your ability to decode important information and, best of all, it’s free. Take advantage of your library, the countless news articles published online, and our Recommended Reading board on Pinterest.
There are plenty of test prep books, apps, articles, and services screaming for your attention, but if you can focus only on one thing, read!