2 comments - Last on 01/18/2011
Fundamentals of SAT Preparation
It’s January, and that can mean only one thing: It’s time for high school juniors to start preparing for the March SAT. Needless to say, the mere thought of sentence completions and data analysis problems makes the Milestone Team jump out of our seats with excitement. We do realize our enthusiasm may not be universal, particularly among high school students. Nevertheless, an SAT score has the ability to open (or close) a lot doors, so preparation is important. To get started, here are a few tips that we use to get our students ready for the test.
1. Plan your attack. Even if they start early, students err if they prepare haphazardly. Start rigorous preparation 10-12 weeks before the test, and take the time to devise a solid study plan.
2. Record your progress. We have our students designate a single spiral notebook for all their SAT material. This helps them keep track of what they’re learning and how they can improve. It also helps with motivation, because they can see how much progress they’re making.
3. Schedule a regular study time. Make an appointment with yourself for the same time each week, and hold yourself accountable. It’s easy to procrastinate unless you establish a pattern early in your preparation. Your parents will be happy to help you keep your study date if you ask them.
4. Practice in the testing environment. Practice scores can vary widely depending on the level of stress in your environment. By practicing in a place that recreates the feel of the real test, you get a more accurate measure of your capabilities. This often means leaving the comfort of your kitchen table, where distractions abound, and finding your way to a quiet corner of the library. Make sure you have all the tools you’ll need, like your SAT notebook, calculator, and practice problems.
5. Learn the vocabulary. Who doesn’t love learning new words? If etymology doesn’t get your blood running, we don’t know what will. Studying hundreds of new words may seem daunting, but questions designed to test vocabulary can account for 50-100 points on the test. Furthermore, a better vocabulary will improve your reading speed and comprehension, helping you gain points elsewhere.
Even if you’re not looking forward to the SAT, you can ease the stress by preparing effectively. With a deliberate approach to test preparation, you can enter the test ready to put your best foot forward.
Milestone Academic Counseling offers Academic Coaching and SAT Prep to high school students in the Princeton area. Staffed entirely by graduates of Ivy-League schools and their peers, we offer both one-on-one and small-group instruction. (609) 751-1677. www.MilestoneAcademic.com
Moderated by Jake Cornelius.
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