The Test Preparation Resource You’re Overlooking (Even Though It’s Staring You in the Face)
Image from Stocksnap.

Image from Stocksnap.

Students often use many different resources in order to study for standardized tests. However, they often overlook a free and potentially helpful resources right in front of them. Teachers in the subject areas of the tests can have valuable insight and even study materials for tests like the ACT and SAT.

Some teachers offer study sessions over the weekend for students studying for the SAT and ACT. Going to these review sessions can help not only with understanding the material on the test but often test format as well. Teachers usually offer either practice tests or sample packets with questions from past tests. If something in the packet or test doesn’t make sense to you, ask the teacher (after the practice test if it’s timed, of course).

Teachers who take time out of their weekends or afternoons to help you with standardized test prep deserve a lot of gratitude. They’re helping you and getting almost nothing back, so use the knowledge they’re giving you. Don’t put the question packet in a folder and never look at it again. Take it out, even if it’s just the night before the test, and look it over. Find problem questions and work out the answers. If you’re having a hard time with specific questions or concepts, the teacher who gave you the packet will almost always be willing to help you figure it out.

At some schools, teachers go even further to help students prepare for standardized tests. Some career counselors and teachers give an optional full practice test for interested students. Finding out how a test like the SAT or ACT is formatted can make test anxiety disappear for some students, so make sure you take advantage of these tests. Also, if you’re taking the Writing section, it’s important to learn how much you can write within the time limit, so having a moderator telling you when to start and when you’re supposed to stop is a great study tool.

If no teachers at your school are offering study materials or a practice test, ask them if they have any resources. Not only will you get important study materials, but you will demonstrate to the teacher that you are serious about school and getting into a strong college. This can help you later on if you ask the teacher for a recommendation. They will be able to speak to how important your schoolwork is to you as a person and a student.

Standardized tests can be studied for in a number of ways. Some students buy practice books, while others work on problem sections and don’t study for others. However you choose to study, make sure you are aware of all your options. Teachers who provide study materials and opportunities to practice taking the test are a great resource, and they are often underused. Not making use of the hard work of teachers may cause them to eventually abandon these practices, which puts students at a disadvantage.

Many study tools for these tests can be expensive. Between tutors and study books, students or their families can spend a lot of money before they even register for the test. Teachers are an incredibly helpful resource, and asking them questions or going to a Saturday morning review session doesn’t cost you a thing (besides a few hours of sleep). The materials that teachers provide are helpful especially because they come from people you see five days a week. If you have questions or want extra help, teachers are usually more than willing to spend time studying with you.

Make sure you use the resources available to you when studying for standardized tests, especially when these resources are given to you by teachers who want to help you succeed. Tests like the ACT and SAT can be scary, but getting help from people who are trained to equip students for these exams makes studying much more manageable.

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