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Tips to get your student prepped for college entrance exams.

by StatePoint
Photography by sengchoy / iStock via Getty Images Plus

Is the SAT or ACT on the horizon for your high schooler? A lot of emphasis is placed on college entrance exams, and your child may be anxious about their scores. To adequately prepare for the SAT or ACT, consider these tips:

• Practice, practice, practice: Encourage your student to take free online practice tests early and often. Not only is this an effective way to get familiar with the types of questions that will be on the test, it can give your child a sense of where they stand currently and help them identify areas where they may need some extra review. It’s helpful to simulate test day as much as possible. Have them take the practice test in a quiet place and time each portion of the test accurately.

• Have the right STEM tools: Acing the math portion is easier when you fully understand the principles behind the test questions. Fortunately, you can affordably equip your student with tools that facilitate that understanding. Casio, dedicated to making STEM education more engaging, has developed the fx-CG50, a graphing calculator in the brand’s PRIZM line-up that offers a color LCD with a full textbook-style display. Jam-packed with features that enable students to solve the most challenging equations, it offers the ability to easily draw three dimensional graphs such as planes, cylinders and spheres, and view them from various angles in order to better analyze their shape. Plus, a cross-section option and special zoom function can be used for greater analysis.

• Build vocabulary: An expansive vocabulary is not just useful in the real world, it can greatly improve a student’s chances of success in the English, reading and writing sections of the exam. Getting familiar with some of the more frequently used words on the test is important. However, it’s best to break up the studying into chunks. Select a few words to master each day with flash cards. Hopefully, students will start to see etymological patterns that will help them make educated guesses when they don’t know a word.

• Take a break: It’s tempting to assume a last-minute study session the evening before the exam is going to make or break their performance, but a mental breather is actually a better use of time. Urge your child to get a good night’s sleep not just the night before the test, but that entire week. Pre-test jitters may lead to insomnia, but having a solid foundation of rest will help ensure your student is alert on test day. The morning of the test, encourage them to eat a healthy, filling breakfast and do activities that will warm up their brain, such as reading a book or solving a crossword puzzle.

Sufficient preparation and great study tools can alleviate college entrance exam anxieties so that your student walks into their testing center with confidence.