Summertime: An Ideal Time for Test Prep

By Dr. Raymond J. Huntington

Summertime: An Ideal Time for Test Prep

If your teen is preparing to take the SAT or ACT anytime soon, there is no better time for him or her to register for a customized exam prep course now. Summer break is the perfect opportunity for students to focus on studying for the SAT or ACT, because their schedules are far less crowded with school and extracurricular activities. Your teen can work from a targeted schedule to put him or herself in the best position for the upcoming exam.

To get the most out of his or her efforts, here are a few tips for your teen as he or she engages in summertime exam prep:

Register. The registration deadlines for the upcoming exams are as follows:

Exam              Test date                                 Registration deadline

  • ACT              September 8, 2018                            August 10, 2018
  • ACT              October 27, 2018                               September 28, 2018
  • SAT              August  25, 2018                                 July 27, 2018
  • SAT              October 6, 2018                                  September 7, 2018
  • SAT              November 3, 2018                              October 5, 2018
  • PSAT            October 10 & 13, 2018                        Talk with the school PSAT coordinator

Encourage your teen to register now so that he or she has a committed date on the books—and a goal to work toward. That date will be the starting point when developing a study schedule.

Know the exam. For the most effective prep, your teen must be familiar with the exam he or she plans to take (and the differences between the ACT and the SAT). It is worthwhile to investigate the preferred exam at his or her colleges of choice. Most important, your teen should understand the structure and sections of the exam he or she is taking in order to study efficiently and effectively. 

Make a plan and stick to it. Your teen will be far more successful if he or she has a schedule and a detailed plan to follow at each study session. Every session’s work plan should be divided into exam sections and should take into account the student’s strengths and weaknesses so he or she does not waste valuable time on areas where he or she is stronger and gloss over areas where he or she is weak. The best way to assess those strengths and weaknesses is by taking an initial practice exam.

Don’t underestimate the practice exam. No study plan is complete if it does not incorporate practice exams. Your student will get a much better feel for the SAT or ACT’s structure and different question types (and how to answer them) when he or she takes an actual, full-length, timed practice exam.  

Work on speed. Both the SAT and ACT are timed exams with no “fluff” time. Subject-matter knowledge is critical, but your teen must also be able to manage his or her time effectively to earn the best score. That means he or she will need to become comfortable reading and understanding the questions, narrowing down the choices and recognizing wrong answers—all very quickly.

Understandably, it can be overwhelming for teens to know where to begin with SAT or ACT exam prep. If your teen needs help, call Huntington. We help thousands of students every summer prepare for the SAT and ACT, and we know both exams very well. Our highly trained teachers will work with your teen to understand his or her strengths and weaknesses and develop an individualized test prep program to master the skills needed to raise his or her scores.

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at For franchise opportunities please visit  

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