Both the ACT and the SAT push students’ resilience and mental sharpness to the limit due to their time constraints. A-List’s expert tutors provide tips for working under pressure.  

1. Read the questions properly: as obvious as it sounds, the #1 error stems from students misreading the questions. To prevent this, focus on key words in the question that specify what it asks: for ACT, write them down in the Math section and say them quietly to yourself in other sections; for the SAT, circle these key words every time. 

 2. Write out your working in math: continuing the theme of the importance of annotation – write down your working! Never try to do working purely mentally; it leaves too much room for human error under pressure. 

 3. Prepare a standard approach for every question: this frees up your active memory to let you focus on the important information in front of you. Working with a private tutor is a particularly helpful way to build up a tailored set of approaches that work best for you. 

4. Ensure solid reasoning: always have textual evidence in Reading and Science to back up your answers. Many students find themselves wrestling between two answer choices that “seem” correct! One of A-List Education’s techniques to combat this is called “Anticipation” – the practice of creating your own answer first based upon evidence before looking at the answer choices. 

 5. Practice under timed conditionsonce you have learned all the necessary content and strategies, you must practice these within the test’s time constraints. Start with individual timed sections and work up to full, timed practice tests. 

A-List offers proctored practice test simulating real exam conditions every weekend: these tests also include a detailed score report. Contact our Client Service Team to sign up today! 

Tips for Perfecting Your Timing on the SAT and ACT
Scroll to top