Interviewing the ACT and SAT Superstars!

Saleana Zheng, Deputy School News Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






As students receive their ACT scores, as well as their SAT scores, many received near-perfect marks. This included juniors Zach Raney, Max Dean, and Adrian Tillman. As they answered a couple of my questions, they give an insight on what they did to prep and some advice for students taking the SAT and the ACT in the future.

ZACH RANEY

Saleana Zheng: Introduce yourself (name and two things about yourself).

Zach Raney: My name is Zach Raney, I’m a junior, and I am bad at time management.

SZ: What did you get on the ACT/SAT?

ZR: I got a 35 on the ACT and a 1570 on the SAT.

SZ: Did you feel any pressure from your family, peers, or others? If so, how did you handle it?

ZR: No, I don’t feel stress from others. I cause that myself! #procrastination.

SZ: What colleges are you applying to? How has your ACT/SAT score impacted your college choices?

ZR: I have no idea what schools I’m applying to at this point. I’m mostly looking at more selective schools but nothing specific.

SZ: What classes and teachers have most effectively helped you prepare for it?

ZR: AP English for sure. The reading comprehension section is always hardest for me but I think that class was helpful. Thanks Mrs. Howes!!

SZ: Which sections did you struggle on the most? Which were the easiest?

ZR: I struggled on ACT Math. The timing is incredibly fast-paced and any misuse of time means you might have to guess on a few questions. I ended up running out of time. If I was going to take it again, time management is what I would work on, specifically for that section.

SZ: How have you prepared for the SAT/ACT, such as your routine, and for how long?

ZR: I took the PreACT. I think that counts. That was my preparation for the ACT. For the SAT, I took it last year as a sophomore and did alright. I did one practice test to prepare last time and even though I didn’t practice for the second time I think that the exposure of testing more than once was very helpful.

SZ: Do you have any advice for those taking the SAT/ACT next year (any test taking strategies, books, tutors)?

ZR: Just relax. If you take it the first time and you aren’t happy with your score don’t let it upset you. Maybe take a practice test too. Try to remember what questions you thought were hard and go learn why you got them wrong. Keep it simple and study with purpose I guess, don’t just go through the motions. Study what you need to, don’t worry about the rest. Oh, and eat breakfast.

SZ: Any additional comments you would like to add?

ZR: Study more than I did. Sorry if my answers aren’t helpful. If they suck, don’t publish this. (Sorry Zach, I published them.)

MAX DEAN

Saleana Zheng: Introduce yourself (name and two things about yourself).

Max Dean: My name is Max Dean, I am a junior, and I procrastinate doing my homework.

SZ: What did you get on the ACT/SAT?

MD: I got a 34 on the ACT.

SZ: Did you feel any pressure from your family, peers, or others? If so, how did you handle it?

MD: I apply pressure on myself to do well, so no real pressure from my family or friends.

SZ: What colleges are you applying to? How has your ACT/SAT score impacted your college choices?

MD: I am planning on applying to the big three in NC, Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, and NC State.

SZ: What classes and teachers have most effectively helped you prepare for it?

MD: AP English 3, doing AP multiple choice helped out with reading comprehension. Shout out to Mr Miller.

SZ: Which sections did you struggle on the most? Which were the easiest?

MD: I struggled with the English section, the change or no change questions, and the math and science were the easiest for me.

SZ: How have you prepared for the SAT/ACT, such as your routine, and for how long?

MD: I didn’t do any substantial studying, I watched a video the night before and did some practice problems. Also, getting a good night’s sleep is important.

SZ: Do you have any advice for those taking the SAT/ACT next year (any test taking strategies, books, tutors)?

MD: If you are going to study, don’t wait until the night before. One or two weeks in advance will probably increase your score more than studying the night before. Additionally, don’t stress about it too much.

SZ: Any additional comments you would like to add?

MD: Get the timing down.

 

ADRIAN TILLMAN

Saleana Zheng: Introduce yourself (name and two things about yourself)

Adrian Tillman: I’m Adrian Tillman, I’m a junior here at Jordan, and I play piano.

SZ: What did you get on the ACT/SAT?

AT: I got a 35 on the ACT and a 1520 on the SAT.

SZ: Did you feel any pressure from your family, peers, or others? If so, how did you handle it?

AT: I felt a little stress, mostly from my family just because I knew they had high expectations. I dealt with it by writing, working on piano music, making beats, really anything that wasn’t test-focused.

SZ: What colleges are you applying to? How has your ACT/SAT score impacted your college choices?

AT: I’m applying to UNC, UVA, and UNCW. I was shooting for these schools before my test scores, but after my scores I’ve added a few other schools to my list, such as Georgetown, just to gauge interest.

SZ: What classes and teachers have most effectively helped you prepare for it?

AT: English class and AP Seminar this year were a big help to me, as I learned strategies that helped get me through a test quickly and accurately.

SZ: Which sections did you struggle on the most? Which were the easiest?

AT: The toughest section for me was the reading, probably. It’s not the difficulty, but you have to go so quickly to finish all the questions.

SZ: How have you prepared for the SAT/ACT, such as your routine, and for how long?

AT: I didn’t have a set study routine, because you won’t ever know the exact questions will be, only the general concept. I did get some assistance from family in preparing for taking the two tests, though. Most of my preparation was making sure I had good rest and a full meal in the morning.

SZ: Do you have any advice for those taking the SAT/ACT next year (any test taking strategies, books, tutors)?

AT: As far as prep, take advantage of your connections. If you know someone who majored in mathematics, have them help you when you don’t feel confident in that area. If your friend always gets high English grades, ask for writing/ reading comprehension tips. That type of thing. For the test itself, don’t wake up right before you have to leave. Your brain takes time to kick into gear, give it that time even though it means getting up a little earlier than you’d like.

SZ: Any additional comments you would like to add?

AT: This applies to life, not only to testing, but focus on who you want to be, THEN focus on how you’re getting there. After all, you can’t tell if you’re driving the right way if you don’t have a destination.

 

Thanks to all the superstars again for their time, and while some students are naturally gifted in test-taking, hopefully these pieces of advice will help those taking the ACT or SAT next year. Great job to all the juniors and continue to work hard!