Preparing for the SATs can be daunting; many students don’t even know where to begin, let alone how to go about studying. Fortunately, there are multiple resources currently available that can help make taking the SATs as unintimidating as possible. Of course, there are always test prep books. The College Board regularly updates their books to adapt to any changes made in the test format, and can be purchased online or at most book stores. A lot of information can also be found online at http://sat.collegeboard.org/home. Both the book and the website offer introductions to the SATs, practice exams to help you prepare, and answers to all your questions regarding this very important test! Here are some preparation tips taken from both sources to help give you a better idea of how to study:
- Familiarize Yourself with the Test and its Components: The first chapter in The Official SAT Study Guide is all about introducing the SATs. Why is it taken? How is it organized? How is it scored? The more you know about the test itself, the less intimidating it will be.
- Create a Personalized Study Plan: The College Board website is a fantastic resource for SAT preparation. By clicking on their “SAT Study Plan” link under the “Practice” menu, they will help create a personalized plan of action for you based on three simple questions: Which test will you take? How many times have you taken it? When will you take it? From there, they offer tips on how to go about studying, along with links to resources that should assist you.
- Study, Study, STUDY: As the College Board says, “There’s no substitute for studying.” This may sound painfully obvious, but sometimes the simplest answers are also the most helpful. Your best bet is to study a little bit each day, as opposed to cramming right before the exam. You can do this a number of different ways, including reviewing chapters in the Study Guide, taking practice tests, meeting with a prep instructor, or even just answering the Question of the Day online. The College Board website posts a new one every day, and it is a great way to keep your mind focused and working!
- Read!: Research has shown that students who regularly read for pleasure excel in school, not just in Language Arts but in all areas of study. Learning to read effectively improves your vocabulary, gives you the ability to decipher what an author is saying, and strengthens analytical and problem solving skills overall. It can also improve your writing ability and test scores! Reading is one of the best ways to help prepare for ALL aspects of the SATs.
- Be Aware of, and Access All Resources Available to You: We live in an age of constant information; everything is at our fingertips. Take advantage of the Information Age by selecting and making use of any and all resources that you think will help you to do well on the SATs. In addition to working on your own online or with the book, studying with teachers, family, and friends can also be a great way to hone your skills and build your confidence. The opportunities are limitless, and so is your potential to succeed
- Get a Tutor: Sometimes it is best to enlist the help of a professional SAT tutor. Having a one-on-one coach who knows the test well can give you that extra boost you may need during your preparation. SAT tutors are familiar with the most up-to-date versions of the test, as well as specific techniques on how to study and approach each section of questions. They can also outline a study plan tailored to your needs that you can continue to use on your own. Most importantly, SAT tutors will help you gain the confidence you need to ace the test!