Six Secrets Hidden By SAT & ACT Test Makers

six-secrets-hidden-by-sat-act-test-makersSix Secrets Hidden By SAT and ACT Test Makers by Jean Burk

Podcast #58

Do you want to know six secrets that the test makers don’t want you to know? In this episode, Jean Burk shares her insights after years of successful teaching the SAT and ACT test prep to thousands of students. Her techniques successfully raise scores as much as 600 points! This is part three of an ongoing series on a total of twenty-three insider’s tips and hidden secrets that test makers hope you won’t learn.  Listen to podcast one here and podcast two in the series here.

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Show Notes: Six Secrets Hidden By SAT & ACT Test Makers

  1. You really need to know how to interpret the percentiles of the SAT score – what does that mean – where does that fall? Students can find out the percentiles – official chart from the National Merit Corporation – pages 6-9

If you don’t know your starting point you don’t know where to begin or how to improve.

  1. Your state can miss out on a scholarship opportunity. Some states only promote the ACT they don’t promote the SAT – which means the PSAT which is designed by the SAT When they redesigned the new SAT – 1600 ACT – 36

Depending on what state you live in and how student’s do will determine the percentile for your particular state – – you can find the predicted scores for every state that will give you ranking sin your state.

  1. You may not want to take so many standardized tests but taking both tests can pay dividends! If you take both the SAT and the ACT – you may have an advantage scoring well on both formats – can mean better opportunities – can elevate your chances of admittance as well as scholarship money. If you get high scores on both – they may give more money on the SAT or more money on the ACT

Give you the idea of the scoring for both – there is an optimal rate

There are 13 opportunities 6 times for ACT and 7 times for the SAT

Overview of the tests – Knowledge Based are on

  1. Little known secrets – SAT essay judge confesses he spends 20 seconds grading the essays – papers are scanned and sent to judges all over the nation – they only have time to 5-6 key points they are looking for … they are going to skim it in 20-30 seconds. They have a college degree and have taught reading. They use an objective grading system that is standardized. Some read 3 per minute – it is a matter of how well you can answer questions under pressure. has a proven template the students can use – this new analytical essay from the SAT –not asking for opinion – you have to take their info and put it back on the paper and find concrete points to use in your essay. THREE examples – look for numbers – survey or statistic or report with a date –


  1. If you are in the know there is another secret chance to take a test – the residual ACT – a secret chance to take the test in non-conventional time s in the year. Most SAT are taken on a Saturday – so it can be a hindrance. It is given on the campus of most colleges it is offered weekly or monthly. These include the ability to pay at the college, you can receive your score back quickly – a day or a week. It can only be used for that school. These are official ACT – advantage, just one point on ACT – increase you another 20K in some campuses.


  1. Removed the guessing penalty – ACT and SAT are both the same. You may want to reconsider advice from companies if you are not sure about an answer, just guess. Look at this logically – SAT has 4 options – ACT has 5 options. SAT 75% wrong or ACT – 80% wrong. Don’t be quick to guess on a question. Learn how to answer the questions correctly. Time is not their friend. Most students take too long on the questions, can’t get through the test. – strategy go through 2-3 times. Key is if you come across a question and you can’t answer it quickly – skip – star and move on… get to as many as you can and come back to the ones that you skipped. Your subconscious is working on it so you can see the answer later. You will have answered way more questions than you could ever have answered. You saved so much time now you can spend a couple of minutes on the questions you don’t know.


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