The dynamics of the SAT Reasoning Test can become very overwhelming for both the student(s) and parent(s).
There are hundreds of organizations that will tell you they have the best tips and strategies for you to succeed on the SAT.
It can become very confusing when you are already nervous about taking the test, let alone how and when to study for the test.
In this short article, I am going to touch on some basic foundational items that you can place in your SAT preparatory toolboxes.
If you take the time and Internet search, how to prepare for the SAT, you will be overwhelmed with a plethora of information.
This is the first thing you actually should not do. The Internet search will lead you to a land of confusion, to say the least. There already are credible sites out on the web, such as Kaplan and Barron's SAT review.
These companies have been around for many years and have great ratings, and excellent tips and techniques. In some instances, these companies will offer SAT preparatory courses in various locations near you.
As a student, you should look at every page in the review books and really think deeply about what the editors are trying to convey.
The biggest question I am asked is, when should I start preparing for the SAT? My answer is in the second half of your sophomore year of high school.
You most likely will take the SAT in the fall or winter of your junior year. You should spend about 1 to 1 1/2 hours a week early on and gradually increasing to 2 hours a week by the start of your junior year.
I realize that summer is for lounging by the pool and time with family and friends, but the truth is you should be taking advantage of the downtime and preparing for the SAT while school is out of session.
One can successfully work through the SAT preparatory textbook of your choice, but many students should consider enrolling in a preparatory course if they do not feel disciplined enough to prepare independently.
These courses usually run 8 to 10 weeks in duration and offer test-taking strategies and content rationale, as well as a mock exam to gauge your strengths and weaknesses.
I highly recommend enrolling in a preparatory course that is completed roughly one to two weeks before your "real" SAT scheduled date. This enables you to stay sharp with the information and to have your mind keyed in on the exam.
It is important to note that understanding the content is not the sole key to a satisfactory SAT score. It is very important, but understanding how to manage and "attack" the exam is crucial as well.
You should spend time reviewing the judges-graders rubric for the essay portion of the exam. Know what they are looking for and what they are not looking for.
You should understand how the grading system works within the exam and each sections layout. You should be aware of the set time limits that each section allows and become proficient in completing the required tasks within the set time limits. It all seems so involved and so technical.
The truth of the matter is, it is, and the more time focused on the SAT is less time that anxiety and nervousness will get in the way of your needed score.
In the final article of this three-part series, I will solely concentrate on the dynamics of test day.
Cordell is the owner of Excell Tutoring Services, 346 Broad St., Montoursville. He may be reached at 506-9998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.