Summer time! School’s out and everyone’s ready for a break. While it’s important to take this time to travel, work on your hobbies, or just relax before the next school year, summers are also a great time to dedicate to test prep while you don’t have school work to worry about.

Piqosity offers courses for the ISEE, ACT, and the new Digital SAT, which are all designed to adapt to your personal needs. Keep reading to learn more about how to utilize Piqosity test prep courses this summer!

Not planning on taking any standardized tests in the fall? You can still use Piqosity’s ELA and math courses to avoid the notorious “summer slide”. Check out our article on how to use Piqosity for both reviewing previously learned material and getting a head start on new material this summer!

Summer Study Plan Timeline

If you’re wondering, “How do I create a study plan?”— you’re in the right place. In order to ensure that your summer practice is effective, it’s crucial to develop a timeline for studying (and even more important to stick to it). Make sure to evaluate how much time you can devote to test prep so that you can commit to a certain amount of practice each week. Consistency is key when it comes to successful test prep.

Let’s go over some things you’ll want to consider when developing a summer study plan!

How many weeks do you have to study?

  • How long is your summer break? — The length of students’ summer breaks can vary from school to school. So, a student who has a shorter summer break might not realistically be able to do as much test prep over the summer as a student with a longer break. But no need to worry! As long as you’re maximizing the time you do have, you can successfully use this time to test prep!
  • Do you have any vacations or summer camps planned? — As we mentioned before, summer breaks shouldn’t be all about studying— that would defeat the whole purpose! It’s also a time for families to take trips and for students to participate in fun summer camps. Again, don’t fret over these plans getting in the way of your test prep. Just make sure to account for them when setting your goals.

How much time do you have to study each week?

  • What weekly obligations do you have? — Chores, sports, volunteer opportunities, and summer jobs are all responsibilities students may have to plan around while creating their test prep schedule. Make sure to be realistic about the time and energy you can dedicate to studying with your other obligations in mind. In other words, if you have sports practice in the morning and babysitting in the afternoon, chances are you’ll be too tired to do multiple hours of test prep in the evening.
  • How many days of the week will you be able to study? — Considering what we discussed in our previous point, figure out how many days a week you can slot in a test prep session. Remember, consistency is key, so it’s in your best interest to be realistic with this decision rather than overzealous.
  • How much time can you spend during each practice session? — Again, realism is the name of the game here. You may find it helpful to use an online calendar or sketch out your week on paper to see where you have chunks of time to devote to test prep. Also be sure to be realistic while setting these goals; it’s much better to have a productive hour-long study session than a three-hour long study session that is mostly spent staring at the wall.

What is your goal score?

  • What is a competitive score for the school(s) you want to apply to? — Here’s where you get to put your detective hat on and do some research. Look up the schools you’re applying to, and look at the interquartile range of their applicants and admitted students’ scores. We recommend aiming for at least the middle of that range and above it. For example if the interquartile range on the SAT for your goal school is 1140–1380 you’ll want to aim for at least a 1260 and ideally aim for a 1320 or above.
  • What is a realistic target score you can work towards? — With that said, it’s important to also be realistic about your target score. In other words, it’s not realistic for most students to get a perfect 1600 on the SAT. Luckily, perfection isn’t necessary to be a strong candidate for good schools. So, don’t set yourself up for failure and set goals you can reach.

Piqosity’s Virtual Tutor

Piqosity’s Virtual Tutor (PVT) is designed to provide students with self-directed personalized learning, making test prep for students who aren’t working with a teacher or tutor significantly easier. PVT personalizes the course outline and automatically guides students through lessons, practice, and review.

Read on to learn more about how to use PVT to maximize your test prep this summer!

Step 1: Setting Goals

In order to demonstrate how to plan out your Piqosity summer practice, we’ll use the example of a student taking the ACT in August. We’ll say this student is aiming to score in the top 5% of ACT test takers (which equates to a composite score of approximately 30) and can dedicate 4 days a week to 60-minute sessions.

PVT will prompt you to input this information and then create a personalized study plan to help you reach your goal score in the amount of time you have to prepare.

Step 2: Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses

The first thing PVT will have you do is take a mini-diagnostic test. While taking a practice test before your review may seem daunting, it’s crucial for identifying what you already know and what you need to focus on the most. That’s why all Piqosity courses prompt students to take a mini-diagnostic test at the start of each course to determine their starting point in a time-effective manner. This mini-diagnostic also allows students to get more familiar with the test and how the questions are formatted.

Furthermore, after the student completes the Overview and Strategies lessons which cover each section of the test in detail, PVT will have the student complete a full-length practice test to better gauge their strengths and weaknesses and further personalize the student’s test preparation.

Sample score report of an ACT mini-diagnostic test.

As seen above, your score report will show you:

  • Your overall accuracy.
  • Your accuracy by topic.
  • Your correct and incorrect answers.
  • Answer explanations for each question.
  • The time you spent overall (your pace).
  • The time you spent on each question.
  • How many questions you got correct by question difficulty.

Based on this sample score report, we can see that, overall, this student is 10 points away from their goal score of 30 and that they need to focus most on the English section.

Step 3: Learning and Practicing

Once you’ve completed your mini-diagnostic exam (or have opted to skip it), it’s time to start working through your personalized PVT course outline.

Your personalized outline will cycle through the topics in your test prep course based on your goal score and the topics that need the most improvement. Each module will include a lesson, either written or in video format, then have you answer questions about the lesson’s concepts, and finally answer practice questions on all completed topics to keep the concepts fresh in your mind. Additionally, PVT will schedule additional full-length tests throughout your test prep based on your goal score for even more practice.

Based on the number of study sessions you planned for each week and how much time you’re able to spend during each session, Piqosity will outline each module you should complete during your sessions in your personalized and adaptive calendar.

PVT calendar for ACT prep.

Putting It All Together

Finally, to make the most of your test preparation, here’s how we recommend utilizing PVT with Piqosity’s other helpful features!

Personalized Practice

Along with the lessons and practice PVT assigns you, you can use Piqosity’s personalized practice feature to boost your mastery in particular areas. For example, if your PVT modules for the day focused on some Math topics you didn’t feel super confident about, you can use personalized practice to work through more questions on those topics specifically.Along with the lessons and practice PVT assigns you, you can use Piqosity’s personalized practice feature to boost your mastery in particular areas. For example, if your PVT modules for the day focused on some Math topics you didn’t feel super confident about, you can use personalized practice to work through more questions on those topics specifically.

Piqosity's Personalized Practice set-up page.

Full-Length Tests

If you’d like to practice the topics you’re learning with PVT by simulating a testing environment, you can work through timed, full-length test sections in tandem with your weekly practice.

Piqosity's full-length ACT tests.

Piqosity offers 12 full-length practice tests for each of our test prep courses. By working timed full-length tests periodically throughout your test preparation, you can combine the knowledge you’re learning in your PVT modules with test-taking strategies.

If you’d prefer to focus on full-length tests for your test preparation, we’d recommend working through 2 to 4 sections (half or all) of a practice test each week. Be sure to take note of questions you answer incorrectly and the concepts they test. Most importantly, learn from your mistakes by reviewing your test and relevant lessons along the way.

Intelligent Remediation

To ensure that students walk away with a solid understanding of the material they’re shown, Piqosity also offers intelligent remediation. So, if a student doesn’t perform well on a certain module, they can remediate that concept through further practice in their remedial outline. Piqosity will show that student questions on the same concept at a lower difficulty level and allow them to work through those questions until they can successfully answer practice questions at the original difficulty level.

More Educational Resources by Piqosity: 

We hope you find this article helpful! Remember to study hard and stay cool this summer. Also, check out the resources below for more test prep tips!