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Preparing for the SAT/ACT

Fulbright staff helping student preparing for admissions test

Take time to thoroughly prepare for your admissions tests, as they are an important part of the admissions process for US universities. American students applying to the most competitive US universities will typically have invested a significant amount of time into preparation, and this is reflected by strong scores. You should plan to create a revision programme and sit several full mock tests, including the essays, to get a feel for the timing and structure of the test.  
Several common preparation strategies include:

  1. Making use of free study materials on the SAT/ACT websites: A sample test for the SAT Reasoning Test is on the College Board website. The College Board issue a SAT question of the day, and there is also an ACT question of the day, both of which you may sign up to receive via email. A sample test for the ACT is also available online. For more information about differences between the exams, please see our admissions tests page.
  2. Test tutors: If you need additional assistance as you apply for US study, you may wish to consider contacting one of the organisations on our resources page. These test tutors and educational consultants offer a higher level of personalised support and services to help you prepare for admission tests and complete a competitive university application.
  3. There are also print guides to the SAT and ACT. There is no one "best" test preparation guide for these admissions exams. Rather, you will need to choose a book or method that suits your learning needs and preferences. For example, some students prefer a step-by-step review through the concepts for each section and discussion of example problems, whereas other students prefer to have as many full tests as possible to practice.