8 Lies Keeping Students from Higher Standardized Test Scores | 05/11/2016

{Honestly, I've been debating for about a month whether or not I should post this. However, as a high-schooler who has learned SO MUCH a...

{Honestly, I've been debating for about a month whether or not I should post this. However, as a high-schooler who has learned SO MUCH about standardized tests, I though I should share some of the things I've learned about the ACT and SAT  and maybe some of you can learn as well. :) }

Okay. People complaining about tests in general is my pet peeve. But people complaining about their ACT or SAT score is my least favorite of all. I think every high-schooler genuinely has the ability to score well on standardized tests like the SAT and ACT. ("Well" of course is a relative term, but we can forget about that for now.)

Just a little disclaimer- I am by no means an expert. In fact, a lot of the time I forget how to spell words and how to do long division. Sometimes my brain gets lazy and I get bad test scores. BUT, I did work really hard and get near perfect ACT and PSAT scores, if that counts for anything. These are the things I've learned from taking standardized tests. I've yet to take the SAT, but have taken several practice tests (definitely something you should do) and these same principles apply.

So. Here are eight lies that are keeping students from higher standardized test scores.

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1. You are the victim.
The ACT test writers did not write the test in order to torment you. This is not some corrupted system where there is nothing you can do to make your score higher. YOU ARE NOT THE VICTIM. The minute you start seeing yourself as the victim is the minute when you give yourself an easy excuse for not studying and working.

2. You are entitled to a good score.
You are not entitled to anything, my friend. What you put in is what you get out. I guarantee you that lazing around your bed and watching youtube vloggers is going to up your standardized test score a big fat zero percent, regardless of what you think you are entitled to.

3. Your score is set in stone.
I upped my overall ACT score six points over the course of a couple of years.
Honestly, the best way to change your score is to sit down and practice practice practice practice. Oh yeah, did I mention practice? Analyze your mistakes. Write down the formulas that made you miss that math question and memorize it.

4. You can change your score overnight
Did you see that I said A COUPLE OF YEARS in the last section? That's right. I took the ACT four times before I got the score that I wanted. That means starting early definitely helps. But don't worry- if you only have a few weeks instead of a few years, you can still certainly practice and up your score.

You may have not taken Geometry or Pre-Calc yet, so you might be surprised to see your score go up simply because you waited until you finished your math class.

5. Your score doesn't matter.
Sure, there's a time and a place where standardized test scores do not matter. BUT THAT TIME AND PLACE IS NOT RIGHT HERE AND NOT RIGHT NOW. Your standardized test scores will effect the outcome of which colleges you are accepted into and which scholarships you will receive. This is not something to be taking lightly, my friends.

6. The resources to get higher scores are expensive and therefore unattainable.
This is perhaps the biggest lie. Sure, $500 online courses will help you. But so will Khan academy (they have a great SAT prep program) and it's free. Also, libraries are insanely useful--something we forget this in our digital age-- and often have ACT and SAT prep books for free. Finally, one of the best resources I found were local thrift stores. Nearly every time I stop into a thrift store, I find several prep books. Don't worry- of course I don't buy them all... But maybe most of them...

7. Reading all you can about "tricks" behind standardized tests will help
Okay, maybe they will help a little. But I believe the best way to up your score is simply take (accurate) practice tests and learn from your mistakes. For example, if you are consistently missing problems involving square roots, spend some extra time reading up on square roots. If you struggle with reading comprehension, practice reading a few articles every day. Over time, you'll start to understand the sort of things the standardized tests repeat. For example, on the ACT English test, the right answer to nearly every problem asking something about word choice is the answer with the least number of words.

8. You cannot get an amazing score.
Frankly, you don't have to be a genius to get a great, if not amazing score. You just have to be motivated and hard working. HUSTLE HARD, BABES. When you start believing that you CAN get a great score, you force yourself to stop believing the excuse that you cannot.

Hustle hard. Be epic.

What tips do you all have for standardized tests? Do you even take standardized tests?? Also: SAT or ACT? Let me know your thoughts!

Until next time, blogger tribe,

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