Q and A with Christine Allen on SAT/ACT preperation

photo of SAT ACT supplies
Mrs. Christine Allen, English teacher, taught an SAT preparation course at the high school. She has years of experience educating students on what they need to know about standardized testing. “The most disciplined and well learned students are the ones who score the highest on the tests,” said Allen. Photo courtesy of Ben Ruskin.

Q:  You used to teach an SAT prep course here at the high school. Explain to me what it was all about.

A: “The course was called English Seminar, and it was a semester long class. Since the SAT and ACT tests both heavily consist of difficult vocab words, that is what the first part of the course is mainly focused on. We used a textbook called Word Smart, which contains ‘high frequency’ words that appear often on the tests. The students studied 15-20 vocab words a night. The next part of the course was focused on learning helpful pneumonic devices to remember for the tests, and the third part had to do with essay writing skills. We also looked at the weaknesses of the individual student and focused on those.”

Q:  How many times should students take the ACT or SAT?

A: “Students should take the tests as many times as the need to achieve the cutoff scores of their desired university. When I was taking the tests, you could only take them one time, and the score you received was the score you kept. Students should definitely take advantage of their ability to take the tests multiple times.”

Q:  Should students invest their time and money in an SAT prep course?

A: “If students have the money they should. Otherwise, if they have the proper discipline, they should go to a book store and purchase a workbook to study on their own time.”

Q:  What is your best advice for a student taking a college admission test?

A: “Learn as much as you can while you are here at high school. The most disciplined and well learned students are the ones who score the highest on the tests.”