Starting Early and Working Smart Can Help International Students Get Ahead on Standardized Tests
By Richard, IvyWise Master Tutor
When it comes to getting a great score on the ACT or SAT, the process of preparing and studying for the exam can seem quite complicated, especially if students are applying from abroad and aren’t familiar with the test. Instead of stressing out, know it can be done—as long as students learn about the exam and create a testing strategy.
Although it might seem a little overwhelming at first, ACT or SAT prep can be a good opportunity to develop time management and problem solving skills, which will serve students well in college. In order to achieve your best score and get a head start on university-level study habits, keep reading for a few top test taking tips for international students.
Remember that SAT and ACT scores can rise with proper preparation
Some students may believe that their scores will remain fixed, regardless of how much time and effort they put into studying. Fortunately, the opposite is true. The more students work to prepare for these exams, the more their scores will go up and the better their results will be. Keep in mind that the SAT and ACT are exams that students can improve their scores on, if they devote the hours and effort needed to study appropriately.
Some international students can see particularly significant score improvements
With the right amount of effort and support, international students' can see exceptional score increases! The ACT and SAT exams are often initially very unfamiliar to students from abroad, so as these test takers become more accustomed to the exam, they are often capable of significant progress. Once students become aware that these exams require considerable preparation and that their scores can improve with effort, they are often inspired to put time into the process and seek out the guidance needed in order to succeed. If test-takers put in this kind of time and effort, the results will follow!
International students are often capable of making more progress on average than other students, but this progress may take more time. With the right organization and time commitment, the challenges of the process of preparing for the ACT and SAT can turn into advantages as students' scores go up. There is no quick fix for studying; students need to put in the work in order to see results. Beginning test preparation 1-2 years in advance can give students the time needed to create a test taking strategy and study routinely without cramming in the last minute. Starting early can be particularly important for international students because it can often take these test takers more time to adjust to the US style of testing and sometimes the level of English that the exams are measuring.
Success is where preparation meets opportunity
In general, students should expect that their results will be proportional to their efforts. This doesn't just mean putting in the time, although the amount of hours spent studying will be a key factor to score improvement. Additionally, having a great tutor for this process can make it more efficient and help students feel supported throughout their journey. By starting early, putting in the time needed, and working smart, students can see significant progress and attain the kinds of scores they are looking for by their final year of high school. The saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, rings true for SAT and ACT preparation; time and effort are needed to get the best results possible.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed or defeated by the SAT or ACT exam, international students should feel empowered. By starting early and studying frequently and efficiently, test takers can see huge progress. If you are looking to improve your SAT or ACT scores, the IvyWise team of expert tutors, myself included, can help you create a test taking plan and develop strong study habits.