Posts Tagged ‘SAT vs ACT’

Episode 87: Why is the ACT Test Important?

On this tutoring tips episode, Alexis Avila talks about why the ACT is an important college admissions test.

Episode 87: Why is the ACT Test Important?

For more information, visit: Prepped and

Please rate, review and subscribe to the show on iTunes!

What was your biggest takeaway from this podcast about the ACT test? Do you have any questions for Alexis Avila?

Post your comments below:

SAT Prep

Subscribe to our Blog Feed
Become a Fan on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

August 11th, 2015
, , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
ACT, College Admissions Tips, Featured, Podcast
Comments (0)

New SAT vs ACT

New SAT to ACT Comparison

Online ACT Tutoring

There has been a great confusion amongst the students when it comes to ACT vs SAT. In spring 2016, the College Board will release a redesigned New SAT Format that aims to better evaluate college-bound students. Many of these changes, bring to mind the comprehensive testing approach of the ACT, including new questions that focus on history and science analysis and real world math. However, it’s important to remember that SAT and ACT are still two very different tests. Below you will see the SAT ACT comparison, so it is easy to decide whether to go for SAT or ACT. This SAT ACT comparison helps you determine what test preparation methods you’ll need to do your best.

ACT vs New SAT

Scoring Your composite score will be the average of two areas, Evidence-Based Writing and Language, and Math. The essay portion provides one additional score that does not affect your composite score. Scores range from 400 to 1600, or 200 to 800 each for English and Math, while the essay is scored on a scale of 2 to 8. Your composite score will be the average of four scores in the areas of Math, English, Reading, and Science. The essay portion provides two additional scores that do not affect your composite score. Section and averaged composite scores range from 1 to 36.
Total Length 3 hours, plus an additional 50 minutes for the optional writing portion; 153 total questions. 2 hours and 55 minutes, plus an additional 30 minutes for the essay portion; a total of 215 questions.
The English Section 35 minutes long with 44 multiple-choice questions and four different passages. 45 minutes long with 75 multiple-choice questions and five different passages.
The Reading Section 65 minutes long with 52 questions. Asks questions that require use of evidence to reach conclusions from the passages. There are four long passages, and one double passage. 35 minutes long with 40 questions. Uses reasoning skills to determine and evaluate aspects of passages.
The Math Section 57 questions in 80 minutes emphasizing data analysis, algebra, and real world problem solving. Calculators are only allowed for the 55 minute calculator section, 25 minute no calculator section. 60 questions in 60 minutes emphasizing geometry, algebra, and trigonometry. Calculators are allowed.
The Writing Section 50 minutes long. This section is now optional. The New SAT essay will provide a source material, and the prompt will ask the student to analyze that source (do they agree, disagree, strengths, weaknesses, etc). 30 minutes long; The New ACT essay will provide a source material on a controversial issue, as well as  three short excerpts expressing different perspectives on the issue. The student will need to  not only write a persuasive essay stating their own opinion on the issue, but they must address these differing perspectives in their essay as well.
The Science Section Still not included on the SAT. 40 questions in 35 minutes. The ACT will continue to give the Science section at the end of the exam.


To learn more, visit the College Board’s SAT site and continue to follow Prepped & Polished to determine which test is the right one for you.
Are you taking the New SAT Test or the ACT? Any follow up qs about the SAT changes?

Post your tips/comments below.

Subscribe to our Blog Feed

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

SAT Prep

January 21st, 2015
, , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
Comments (0)

New SAT vs. ACT : SAT and ACT Similarities and Differences

SAT and ACT Instructor Terri of Prepped & Polished, LLC in South Natick, Massachusetts teaches you six similarities and differences between the New SAT and ACT test.

Some key similarities include:
No points deducted for wrong answers
Both tests allow score choice

Some key differences include:
ACT– Composite score, average score of 4 subsections
New SAT-Composite score, sum of 2 areas (evidence based reading and evidence based writing and language; Math)

What do you think will be the easier test, the New SAT or the ACT? Do you have any questions about the new SAT and ACT?

Post your tips/comments below.

SAT Prep

Subscribe to our Blog Feed

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

June 8th, 2014
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
ACT, Featured, New SAT
Comments (0)

7 SAT Tips For Teens

[leadplayer_vid id=”5200130155328″]

Josh Ochs of Media Leaders interviews Alexis Avila Founder of Prepped & Polished, LLC in South Natick, Massachusetts. Alexis list his favorite seven tips for teens preparing for the SAT Test.

Tip 1: Take Advantage of Free SAT Material on the Web
Tip 2: Buy the Official College Board Study Guide
Tip 3: Understand the SAT Format
Tip 4: Don’t spend too much time on Sentence Completions
ACT Science Tips and SAT Tips and Strategies
Tip 5: Skip around a little on the math fill-in section
Tip 6: Wake up early Saturday morning for two months
Tip 7: If you get stumped, circle the question, then move on

Get our SAT E-Book, FREE!

Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Josh: Hello and welcome to Media Leaders. In this video we want to
show you seven SAT tips for teens. I’m honored to have Alexis Avila, the
founder of Prepped and Polished with me today, Alexis welcome to the call.

Alexis: Thanks for having me Josh.

Josh: Well it’s an honor to have you here. Let’s jump right in to the
good stuff, you’re going to walk us through seven tips for people that are
taking their SAT. Can you tell us what you’re going to teach us?

Alexis: I’m going to teach you how to take advantage of free stuff so
you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for tutoring. I’m going to tell you
about buying a key book for SAT. Walk you a little bit through the SAT
format. Talk a little bit about sentence completion, just some insider tips
on the math fill-ins. How to wake up early, you know really get primed and
ready. And also lay a cool strategy for an SAT.

Josh: Sweet. Walk us through the first one.

Alexis: All right. So SATs, you’ve got to take advantage of free stuff
out there, okay? There’s a lot of free stuff that you can study with. Khan, great videos to help you with problems that are found in the
old official college course study guide. go to it
immediately, sign up for the question of the day, have it delivered to your
in box, SAT problem, free, again., you want to practice your
SAT vocab, you don’t have to buy books in the book store for that, go to, it’s all free. Free SAT vocab, practice and take quizzes.

Josh: Great resources. Walk us through the next tip?

Alexis: Okay. So you’ve got to buy the official college board study
guide whether you work with a tutor or independently. It has the most
realistic practice tests possible in this book, there’s ten of them. And I
recommend that you get through as many practice tests as possible. And make
sure that you time yourself when you take these practice tests. And if you
want to get explanations for the questions found in the SAT official
college board study guide, purchase Tutor Ted’s SAT Solution Manual, it’s
not perfect but it’s pretty much the only one out there, the only book out
there that actually has an explanation for each question found in the
official college board SAT study guide.

Josh: That’s super helpful. Walk us through the next one.

Alexis: Okay. Understand the SAT format, okay? This is what I do with
all my students to get them feeling confident and knowing what to expect.
First, section one and section ten are always the same section. Section
one, essays, section ten, short grammar writing section. The next level of
predictability is found in section eight, nine, and ten. Those are always
the shortened versions of the critical reading math, and like I said
section ten is also a short grammar writing section. Section two through
seven, not as much predictability but guaranteed in those sections your
going to find two critical reading long sections, 25 minutes, two math long
sections, 25 minutes, and one long, 25 minute, writing grammar section. And
then you’ll have one experimental section.

Also, know the nuances within each section, and learn how to pace for
them. So for example, the two long critical reading sections, one of those
long critical reading sections has eight sentence completions as opposed to
five sentence completions on the other one. So there’s a different kind of
pacing structure that you should learn. So that’s what I have to say about
the SAT format. I could go on forever about it.

Josh: That’s good to know. Take us on to the next one.

Alexis: Okay. Get to the critical reading. So don’t spend too much time
on those sentence completion questions folk. Why? It’s simple, it’s math,
there’s 19 sentence completions versus 48 reading comprehension questions.
If you get complacent and smug, and take your sweet old time doing those 19
sentence completion questions you’re going to have five minutes left to do
all that reading. You don’t want to be in that pickle. So trust your gut,
study your vocab, get through those sentence completion questions
relatively fast so you can have ample time to do the reading questions.
Scan the questions first when you at the critical reading, scan the
questions first, mark up the passage that answers the specific question on
the fly as you’re reading, it’s like an open book test. And the at the very
end, answer all the general questions, answer those last. It will make
sense because you can only answer general questions once you have the full
scope of the passage.

Josh: Wow, that’s really helpful. Walk us through the next one?

Alexis: All right. We’ll skip around, here’s a little insider technique
for you. Skip around on the maths fill in, the long 25 minute math fill in
section, where you have eight multiple choices and then ten fill-ins after.
Why? Because on the SAT you want to answer all the easy immediate questions
before you tackle the hard ones. Well the order of difficulty goes from
easy to hard, from one to eight multiple choice, and then they get easy
again. So I recommend that you do the first five or six multiple choice
questions, just take a quick glance at number seven and eight multiple
choice which are the hard ones, and if they’re too hard just circle them
and go right to those easy fill-ins, take care of those, and at the very
end go back to those last two multiple choice questions.

Josh: I love it. That’s really helpful. Very counter intuitive. Walk
us through the next tip?

Alexis: Yep. Okay. Well this is kind of like another tip, I really
believe that kids have to develop a routine going into the SAT. So I
recommend you wake up early for at least two months before, each Saturday
leading up to the test. Up to two months before that. The key is to build
your confidence. It’s to build a consistent study program if you want to
get your confidence going up. So you want to wake up early for two months
so you get used to doing SAT problems early in the morning. Again, now
while you’re waking up Saturday, I want you to eat a good healthy breakfast
devoid of fatty foods. Find a quiet study area free of distractions. Have a
nice stop watch so you can pace yourself. And waking up early means go to
bed early too.

Josh: So smart, very true. Walk us through the next tip?

Alexis: Okay. Stumped? Circle the question. The tip is basically this,
the SAT is a marathon, it’s not a sprint, which basically means that you
want to keep moving at a nice steady pace, you don’t want to cram and
agonize over question number one. If you can’t answer it you circle that
question and you keep moving. If you spend more than a minute on a problem
it’s probably a good indicator that you’re kind of going about the problem
the wrong way. You circle that problem and then you keep moving to the next
question. Answer as many questions as you can, and then at the very end
with a fresh set of eyes you go back to the questions that you circled
along the way, tackle those, that’s the way to go.

Josh: That’s super helpful. well walk us through what you’ve taught

Alexis: Okay. well I basically taught you to take advantage of all the
free SAT material on the web, you know you don’t have to spend a gazillion
dollars on SAT preps, there’s a lot of free stuff out there. And if you do
spend a gazillion dollars on SAT prep, fine, but also take advantage of the
free stuff. Buy the official college board study guide, that is basically
the number one and number two key resource you can buy. Everyone uses it,
buy it. Understand the SAT format. I don’t know about you but I feel more
confident when I know what to expect going into game day. Understand the
SAT format. Don’t spend too much time on sentence completion questions,
because there’s more, the lion’s share of those questions in the critical
reading section are critical reading questions themselves. Skip around a
little in the math fill-in section. Take care of the easy and medium
questions first. And then wake up early Saturday morning for the next two
months leading into the test so you get accustomed to what it’s like to
work your brain with multiple choice questions early in the morning. And
finally, if you get stumped circle the question and keep on moving, the
test is a marathon not a sprint.

Josh: Wow this has been really helpful. Alexis, thank you so much for
joining us today.

Alexis: My pleasure Josh. I’m humbled. Thank you very much.

Josh: Thank you. And those of you that are watching this video, click
the links below this video and in the area below, and you can learn more
about Alexis and his company Prepped and Polished. Thank you everybody for
being a part of Media Leaders. Have a great day, and as always, keep it
light, bright, and polite.

Are you preparing for the SAT? Which tip do you find most helpful?

Post your tips/comments below.


Subscribe to our Blog Feed

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

August 5th, 2013
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
Featured, SAT
Comments (0)

Three ACT Insider Tips

Three ACT Insider Tips you should know before you take the exam

Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished discusses three ACT insider tips.

Tip 1. The English ACT section is identical to the SAT paragraph improvements in the writing section.

Test Preparation

Tip 2. The ACT math trig is easy, and the ACT math is easier than SAT math.
Tip 3. The ACT science section is not that bad. Pace yourself to do each science passage in roughly five minutes.

What ACT tips have you found useful? Have ACT prep questions…

Post your questions/comments below.

Subscribe to our Blog Feed

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

March 31st, 2010
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
Comments (0)