With the shift to the SAT as the official Illinois State Standardized Test, many students and parents are left wondering which college-readiness exam to prepare for as they near the end of their high school track.
ACT or SAT?
Choosing the right test largely depends on the strengths of the students themselves, as each test caters to certain skill sets.
iLearn Academy offers these helpful tips for making this big decision.
Play to your strengths
The SAT completely does away with the Science portion in its layout. While it may cover less material overall, SAT math includes Data Analysis on top of Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry and the SAT Reading portion contains one more passage than does the ACT. The writing is optional on both tests.
Speak with your iLearn Academy teacher
Taking time to sit down with your iLearn Academy teacher – who knows very well your particular strong areas – will help you make an informed decision that will leave you confident in your choice.
With all the nice weather and long summer days, the inevitable return to a school routine falls easily to the back of the mind.
For parents and students alike, this usually means the beginning of the fall semester is characterized by a sense of unpreparedness. The PSAT is a two-hour test administered in October, giving students very little time to readjust to the early morning hours and homework grooves, much less adequately prepare for this crucial juncture in a high schooler’s four year stint.
Many people focus on the ‘P’ in PSAT (which stands for practice) and thus view the test as merely a trial run leading up to the more important SAT, but here are three reasons the PSAT is more than just an exercise in standardized testing:
3. Both sophomore and junior high schoolers take the PSAT, but all PSAT scores from juniors are automatically considered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation – a program which awards finalists a variety of corporate- and college-sponsored scholarships that help reduce the cost of college.
Teaching writing is a time-intensive endeavor that most middle and high schools simply cannot afford.
Grading well crafted essays requires little effort. Most of the structural elements are in place and the sentences make sense.
Grading a poor essay? Uh-oh... The words don't make sense inside sentences that aren't coherent within paragraphs that aren't ordered logically inside the whole essay. Yikes! And many public school districts have around 20 students in a single class, which means the chances of each student getting the individual attention their specific writing skill set requires is next to impossible.
This is no small issue relegated to the English department either. Students who cannot form cogent arguments and articulate their thoughts clearly and effectively fall behind in all areas of high school, in college, and later on in life.
This very writing predicament inspired iLearn Academy English teachers to take advantage of the unique amount of free time available over the summer to teach the art of writing well from the ground up, using a comprehensive curriculum that takes students through each and every step of the writing process - an experience most high schoolers will miss out on, unfortunately. iLearn Academy students will research and write about a topic of interest to them, not choose from a list of pre-approved prompts. They will put their ideas and arguments to the test, develop their vocabulary, and consider their audience. But most importantly, students of writing learn how to think. And that's a skill we cannot afford to let them pass over.