January is typically thought of as the month for New Year resolutions. This is when you recommit to your fitness and nutrition goals, finally buy that book you’ve been meaning to read, and promise to make more time for family and friends. But high school students should also use this time to buckle down for college, starting with SAT and ACT test preparation. With ACT∗ and SAT test dates looming in February and March, respectively, January is the perfect time for SAT and ACT prep. Starting now will give you ample opportunity for practice, studying, and ensuring that you are confident on test day.

Preparing to take the SAT or ACT?

Here are 5 proven tips from the SAT and ACT test prep experts at Club Z! to help you do well:

1. Pay special attention to introductory and transitional words such as but, although, however, yet, even though because they are extremely important forming the logical structure of a sentence. And remember that small words such as not can make a big difference. This is particularly helpful for longer reading passages, to help understand words in context, topical summary, and even data analysis.
2. Eliminate the Obviously Wrong Answer. Using the process of elimination can help eliminate answer choices in a multiple choice setting. Once incorrect answer choices are eliminated, you can choose between the remaining options.
3. On the SAT, figures are accurate (to scale) unless otherwise noted. If two lines look like they are the same length, then they are the same length! On the ACT Figures are not necessarily accurate (to scale). Just because two angles look the same in a figure doesn’t mean that they are the same!
4. Plug in the answer choices. Sometimes you can find the correct by working backwards. Try plugging in the answer choices to see which one works. When plugging in the answer choices, start with choice (C). If the choices are numbers, they are usually listed in order from the lowest to highest value, or the vice versa. If (C) turns out to be too high, you don’t need to try out the larger numbers.
5. Easy Does It. Answer the easy and moderate questions first. That way you’ll make sure that you get to see all the questions on the test that you have a good shot of getting right, while saving the leftover time for the difficult questions. Since all questions within a Subject Test are worth the same number of points, there’s no point in wasting time trying to answer difficult questions. In the same amount of time, you could answer several easy questions and rack up points.

For more proven strategies, and a FREE diagnostic SAT or ACT test, call Club Z! today at 800-434-2582. Find out how you can improve 200 points or more on the SAT, and 4 points on the ACT with help from a Club Z! test prep expert! In-home and online lessons are available, as well as weekend online classes with all lessons recorded in HD. For more information and pricing, call 800-434-2582.

Please note, the ACT is not offered in New York in February; the next national ACT test date in New York is April 14, 2018.