When I was in high school, there was this underlying belief that you couldn’t really study for the SAT or ACT. There was an attitude of, “You either know it, or you don’t,” which I now believe is completely false. Not only is it very possible to study for these tests, but they are actually easy to completely master in a relatively short amount of time.
So you have decided to take on work with a great private tutor, or are following some specific program to structure your studying…but you lack the motivation…what can you do?
To succeed at the ACT or SAT, you have to want it. Forcing yourself to study will ear off quickly as the days go by and you have other, more appealing, options at hand. In order to get yourself to want it, my recommendation is that you have to see a deep intrinsic benefit to scoring higher.
Of course higher scores mean more scholarship money, which if your family is strapped for cash might be a huge motivation for you.
Higher scores also mean a greater likelihood of admission into various colleges and universities! But Yale or Harvard are only motivators if you actually WANT to go to Yale or Harvard.
So here is my suggestion to you, and it is a bit radical, but trust me, it works!
1. Figure out what your greatest passions are today
2. Find specific colleges that tailor to those passions in the academic setting
3. Find colleges that have the social life you desire
4. Find colleges that have the extra-curricular opportunities you desire
5. Set these schools as your dream schools
The number one issue with motivation is if you are studying to get into the wrong school for you! Most students are pushed or coerced by parents to go to specific colleges but I find that it is utterly impossible to have a student self-motivated if the colleges to which he/she is applying does not make his/her heart sing out with joy.
Do yourself a favor and make this big decision for yourself without high regard to the prestige or amount of money you can make by picking certain colleges and majors. In the long-run your life will be on it’s true track toward what makes you happy and fulfilled as an adult.
Take the choice of which college to attend into your own hands and you will find huge motivation to study for the ACT/SAT because it is something that you truly desire within your heart.