What’s a good score on the ACT or SAT?
A good score is relative to the colleges that you plan to apply to. To figure out what a good score is in your situation, write down the 75th percentile score for your top five schools and average them. This will give you a good score to aim for.
For a more general answer, a 32+ is considered a great score on the ACT and a 1450+ is considered a great score on the SAT. Both scores put you in approximately the top 2% of test takers!
When and how should I start prepping?
The earlier you start preparing for the SAT and the ACT the better. Now, it’s always important to be realistic. The most important thing is that you are consistently preparing. If you start preparing your freshman year for two months and then take a five-month break, your initial prep would have been somewhat ineffective. To do well on the SAT or ACT, you need to be consistently exposed to the test material. This means questions written by the test makers! The best (and most realistic) time to start preparing for most students is at the end of sophomore year. Just make sure to do weekly practice! The most efficient way to get better at the SAT or ACT is with a peer tutor who has mastered the test. Find a tutor near you to rapidly increase your score! http://toptierlearning.com/portal
Which test should I take? The SAT or ACT?
I recommend that all students take both tests at least once. That way, you can determine what test you did better on and what test you should concentrate on improving. Generally, faster test takers fare better on the ACT than the SAT, since most questions on the ACT are more direct and the real difficulty comes from time pressure. Slower, more analytical thinkers tend to fare better on the SAT. Additionally, if you are very strong in math, the SAT is the test for you because half of your composite score is dependent upon your math section.