The average high schooler is all too familiar with exams, including the different formats, purposes (to torture, right?) and how to prepare (or not) for them. A high-stakes test like the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is a whole different ball game though, and can plague even the most confident high school junior or senior. That nightmare of having a complete and total brain freeze on test day, ultimately resulting in an embarrassing SAT score and a rejection letter from a dream college, has less chance of becoming a reality if a student takes the time to prepare. There are countless ways to get ready for such a test and the key is to develop a plan that works best for the individual student.
Some tried and true SAT prep tips are:
- outline a basic study plan first, complete with dates and times
- begin studying months in advance to avoid cramming
- take an SAT prep course or seminar (usually can be completed in a few hours)
- invest in a comprehensive study guide
- form a study group with friends
- stick to a studying schedule or routine
- visit CollegeBoard for sample questions, information about registering for the test, and other testing tips and tools
Another option is to call in the professionals and by hiring a tutor. An SAT tutor can:
- be extremely flexible with hours and days and can accommodate students' schedules
- identify student weakness and help build knowledge in these specific areas, or tailor lessons to give a general overview in all SAT subject areas
- familiarize students with the format of the test to eliminate any surprises on the big day
- help strengthen general test taking strategies and teach ways to approach different types of test questions
- assist students in diminishing and managing testing anxiety
An SAT score give colleges and universities a glimpse into the aptitudes of potential students and is often one of the major factors schools look at when considering someone for admission. Whether a student decides that hiring a tutor or another way of preparation is best, planning ahead of time can lead to the optimum performance on testing day.