Scoring Higher on College Entrance Exams Is All About the Early Prep
by Tricia White
College entrance exams. The mere thought can evoke terror in the heart of the most confident student. Fear not, but get a jump on your studies, advises Varun Tewari, the owner of Victory Step, a top-rated educational company that offers one-on-one custom tailored exam preparation for the ACT and SAT, academic tutoring for grades 6 through 12 and prepares college students for the GRE and GMAT exams.
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As a general rule of thumb, college entrance depends 20% on extracurricular activities, 35% on GPA and 45% on standardized test scores, yet the allocation of study hours is not equitable. “Over the course of high school, students study about 400-500 hours for extracurricular activities, about 4000-5000 hours to achieve their GPA, but only about 4 hours for the ACT or SAT without test preparation,” says Tewari. To combat the study deficiency for standardized exams, Victory Step recommends 40 to 50 hours with the tutor, plus 40 to 50 hours of homework to maximize test scores.
In order to rack up this number of hours, Tewari says that summertime study is pivotal. “Teens may have camp, sports, or summer jobs, or they might just want to relax, but this 12-week period without school studies and extracurriculars is by far the best time to study for SAT and ACT tests.”
Tewari first helps students determine if they are best-suited for the ACT or SAT exam; then he carefully matches each student to a top-notch tutor who will custom-tailor the study curriculum to meet the needs of the individual. “Since each student is different, it is essential that the study material be personalized so he or she can maximize his or her potential on the exam.”
Tewari advises students to make test prep studies a priority. “Most people think that it’s the GPA that gets them into their college of choice,” he says. “In actuality, colleges put more emphasis on SAT or ACT scores. While the GPA might compare a student to an entire school, the SAT score compares the student to the entire nation.”
Practice might not make perfect, but Victory Step’s program puts students in the “test zone” in a simulated proctoring environment to help boost confidence and build endurance. “Our objective is that students get excellent results. That only happens with practice.”