Ann Dolin: The ACT and SAT are college entrance exams that every college in America accepts, but many parents and students are unsure of how to prepare. The trick is to determine which test is right for your child and to plan accordingly.
The first step to determining which test is best is to take practice test. You can purchase the 10 Real ACT test book for ACT practice test and you can find practice SAT test inside the blue CollegeBoard book.
Taking practice test will help your child get an idea of what each test is like and on which test your child will be more successful. Students often do better on one test than the other as the ACT test subject achievement and the SAT tests aptitude and reasoning skills.
Once you have decided which test is right for your child, encourage your child to prepare for that test only. Students do better when they focus on just one style of test. Students can take a group class, get private tutoring or go at alone with a multitude of manuals on the market.
For either test, preparation should begin about 3 to 5 months before the test date. But don't be afraid to start earlier. Starting early even in 9th grade by simply reading everyday and even incorporating word of the day, text messaging, delivered directly to the cell phone is a great idea. This all on its own will help bolster scores.
Starting early will make improvement gradual and natural.