Games And Learning: How Fun Activities Can Boost SAT And ACT Test Scores

By: Judi Robinovitz | Last Updated: January 7, 2014

Grade point average, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, and part-time jobs all matter when it comes to applying for college. But test scores remain one of the most important factors in determining whether your school of choice thinks you are a worthy applicant. In fact, in a 2012 Kaplan study, 85% of college admission officers claimed that SAT or ACT test scores were required in order to obtain admission into their schools.

The importance of high test scores is clear, but the path to obtaining them is less so. Research suggests that playing the right games could prove just as effective as traditional means of studying for college admission exams.

Let’s talk about the benefits of upping your SAT and ACT test prep game.

Computer Simulations and STEM Test Scores

Researchers have long recognized that games can improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, but few could have guessed that fun and high STEM test scores could go together. In a study conducted by SRI International, experts found that students partaking in targeted computer simulations showed vast improvements in both science and math test scores. These improvements were even more significant when students worked in groups to complete the required tasks included in these simulations.

Such results suggest that, when used in a collaborative environment, simulations can have a very positive impact on learning outcomes. However, when group work is not possible, the simulations still prove effective for individual users.

Puzzle Play

Puzzles, both physical and virtual, can boost a wide area of learning areas. A study from the University of Chicago suggests that, in young children, regular puzzle play greatly enhances spatial skills, which, in turn, serves as a predictor for children's future performance in STEM subjects. Experts claim that puzzles prove similarly effective in later years, including, of course, adolescence.

Today's teens may not express much in traditional puzzles, but they are more than willing to take part in puzzle-based activities such as games. This simple pastime may feel like a form of procrastination, but it ultimately serves to greatly boost SAT and ACT test scores in math and science.

Word Games

Crossword puzzles, word finds, and jumbles all seem like they are designed for rainy days, but based on the latest research, they could also boost brain function in such important areas as vocabulary and cognition. And that's just one of many ways in which word games can prove beneficial. Medical expert Emily Senay tells CBS that mentally stimulating word-based activities assist in building up mental reserves, thus replacing brain cells that may be lost over the course of daily life.

Even after high school, crossword puzzles can assist in learning and improving SAT and ACT test scores. According to one study published by the United States National Institute of Health, pharmacology students who completed crossword puzzles related to drug names had a far easier time remembering difficult terms than those engaging in rote memorization. Thus, students engaging in crossword puzzles during high school are preparing themselves not only for high SAT and ACT scores but also for better grades in college.

Ready to Up Your SAT/ACT Test Prep Game (Literally)?

Score At The Top has a team of exceptional tutors, ready to help you (or your student) maximize learning, grades, and SAT and ACT scores. Whatever your learning style might be, we’re here to ensure you have the right strategies to perform your best.

Speak with an expert today to set up your tutoring appointment and get started on your SAT and ACT test prep games. You can either visit our top-rated test prep learning center or attend your session virtually. Our tutors are also happy to visit homes for convenient test prep appointments.

You want to put your best foot forward. Let us help you get your SAT and ACT scores where they need to be for an impressive college application.

Topics: Test-Prep

Recent Posts