Simply put, the SATs are hard – not to mention long, exhausting, and often confusing. Although most colleges now accept students on a variety of merits, not just their SAT scores, your child’s chances of getting into his or her top choices increase greatly with a high score. Rather than relying on that enormous, intimidating SAT book, look into some creative, helpful ways to get your college-bound kid ready.
Put Together a Study Group
Studying in groups is an incredibly helpful way to prepare for the SATs. Encourage your child to form a study group with friends and peers who are just as serious about doing well on the exam. For a test so comprehensive, it’s better to have a mix of students. The group should contain math whizzes, kids with solid vocabularies, Latin students, and children who write excellent, well-structured essays. This gives every participant the opportunity to shine, to improve skills in other areas and to help their friends.
Study the SAT Structure
The SAT test gets more difficult as it goes on, so understanding the structure is an essential part of SAT prep. When practicing the test or reading up on sample questions, remember that the early sections are generally much easier. Depending on your child’s test-taking abilities, he or she may decide to work backwards instead of forwards, thus completing the most difficult questions first. Since this is a timed exam, understand that it’s vital to answer the easier questions quickly.
Practice Every Aspect
Practice tests are crucial. Without them, SAT prep is practically doomed to fail. Make sure your child has access to sample questions and practice exams, or enroll in professional SAT test prep at Huntington. Taking the test in the same kind of environment they’ll experience on the day of the formal exam will give your child realistic expectations. He or she will see how serious the test is and how they handle the pressure.
Hone Strengths and Explore Weaknesses
Is your child bad at writing essays? Does he or she cringe at the thought of solving equations? Or does your child perhaps have the most extensive vocabulary you’ve ever heard? It’s important to take a realistic view of your child’s abilities as well. As with any exam, it’s good to brush up on the areas where you excel, but don’t go overboard. If your child writes excellent essays, then a few practice essays will do. Focus more on weaknesses. If your child is bad at math, that’s where he or she should work the most diligently.
Fall Back to Flash Cards
When it comes to weaknesses, sometimes the oldest methods are the best. Vocabulary words and mathematics equations lend themselves very well to flash cards. No child should study them constantly, as that just leads to burnout. Every student needs time to relax during the months and weeks leading up to the SATs. Using the flash cards in short bursts, preferably while relaxed, will work much better than cramming.
With due diligence, your child will get an excellent score on the SATs!