How to help a student prepare the SAT is one question most parents will find themselves asking. This is one of the most important tests that a student will take. Entrance into the school of choice and potential scholarships are tied in with the test score.
My daughter did very well on the SAT. Her score was high enough that she was accepted into each school to which she applied and she received entrance into the tuition free school of her dreams.
When I asked the school about how to help a student prepare for the SAT it was a crash and burn. Not only did the school fail to have the information on this test but they did not recommend their students take it. Their strong suggestion was that the students only take the ACT.
We had to do all of the research on enrolling for it and learning how to help a student prepare for the SAT on our own.
Each test is styled a little differently. Students who do well on one may do even better on the other. At least, that’s what we were told when my daughter attended high school in another state.
Along the way, we learned a few things about what did and did not work for our daughter. If you are wondering how to help a student prepare for the SAT some of these tips may help you.
Take the right courses.
My daughter’s first high school showed us the importance of taking the right courses early on. My daughter said that she was grateful for the advanced courses that she took. Early high school foundations in math and science seem to be especially important but reading and essay skills were also needed.
If your student did not take the courses he or she may still take the SAT. Just know that some extra prep work may help.
View the website.
We found tips and test taking strategies on the website. It’s worth the time to thoroughly examine every corner of the website. That’s why the test company put it online. The information on there is helpful. Take it to heart.
Practice, practice, practice.
Before you shell out big bucks on a prep course have your student take some practice tests first. If the scores are high enough it may be possible to skip the expensive classes. There are online tests that you can pay for and books that you can purchase. We found a book at our local library.
If your son or daughter does poorly on a practice test some prep classes may be in order. Check to see if these are offered at school. If so, they may be free. Other options include local tutoring programs or online courses.
Take the PSAT.
This helps students learn test taking skills. It also helps them understand how the actual SAT is laid out. Plus, scholarship money may be available for students with high scores.
Brush up on early high school courses.
It is impossible for seniors and juniors to remember everything they were taught as freshmen. Encouraging the organization of a peer study group can help teens revisit information they may have forgotten.
Deemphasize the importance of the test.
Students are told how important the test is early on in their high school career. For a few, preparation begins in middle school. They get the message and are under extreme pressure to do well. The test score is important but colleges do take other factors into consideration when accepting students.
If your student should happen to score lower than they wanted it is possible to take it again. Deemphasizing the test can make it easier for your teen do relax and perform better. Don’t devalue it or minimize it but help your student see the experience as one part of a bigger picture.
Encourage your teen to get some rest.
The night before the exam isn’t the time to stay up all night studying. There will be plenty of time for that when the teen is in college. At most, have the teen review the sample tests that were taken earlier but don’t let him or her stay up late studying.
Assemble necessary items the day before.
Avoid the stressful mad dash the day of the test. No one needs to waste time looking for the piece of paper that will admit them to the test. (Want to guess how I know this?) Put everything together the night before that the teen needs. This makes the morning of the test much less stressful.
Make your teen eat breakfast.
A hungry teenager will not perform well. Breakfast is essential to stave off those distracting hunger pangs.
Celebrate your child’s achievement after the test it taken. Go to lunch together, a movie or fix your teen’s favorite meal for dinner. The fact that your student is willing to take the test says volumes. Some people never get this far. Taking the SAT is enough of a big deal that it deserves a little recognition. Both you and your teen deserve a pat on the back.