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How SAT prep can benefit your regular studies

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Girl studyingiStockphoto

SAT preparation: for the vast majority of individuals, readying for a standardized examination represents a tiresome process seemingly without connection to objectives outside college and university admissions. While the SAT is an important portion of applications, reviewing for the test can also benefit general academic studies. Here are three ways how:

1. It enhances your time management skills
By junior year, the typical high school student possesses rudimentary knowledge and experience within the field of time management. Students who are active in athletics and/or extra-curricular pastimes learn to concurrently manage the demands of these activities with those of their academic schedules.

But colleges require students to apply this skill in a manner that is absent in grade school. For unprepared freshmen, the necessary balance of academia, athletics, extra-curriculars, and the social sphere is elusive and overwhelming. Completing an intensive SAT preparation regimen familiarizes individuals with this reality before their grade point averages depend upon it. Readying for the SAT involves months of dedication and difficult work. Students who are over-extended soon realize as much, and SAT review provides them with an opportunity to adjust their schedule for success and to later begin college in the best possible way.

2. It increases your likelihood of persevering
Studying for the SAT is by no means a simple task. While it need not be impossible, either, students who are beginning a review regimen should recognize that frustration is a natural component of the process. It is also one with positive benefits.

Whether the course in question is calculus, Irish literature, music, organic chemistry, or philosophy, a portion of higher-level academia will eventually challenge every student. A significant percentage of individuals may then elect to withdraw from the class, rather than face the prospect of hours-long review or a poor grade. With its challenging algebra and geometry focus, as well as its elevated vocabulary, the SAT affords high school students a central life skill: perseverance. Without the drive to press forward in spite of hardship (perhaps, even, the drive to seek difficulty), individuals are unlikely to attain success in this world.

3. It develops your close reading abilities
In a literate society, comprehension is key – this is apparent in readings, directions, e-mails, homework assignments, legal documents, memos, newspapers, and so on. Despite this reality, a startling number of people do not possess great confidence when confronted with an intricate reading task.

The SAT cannot be conquered without first mastering the art of close reading. The exam prompts students to allot careful consideration to section instructions, passages, and multiple choice problems (including mathematics) themselves, as vocabulary selection and directions can greatly influence the tasks required of students. The same is true of university classes. Should an individual fail to understand the specifics of an assignment, it is entirely possible to receive a low or failing mark, regardless of the quality of the writing. Careful attention to detail – including recognizing when and where to employ close reading strategies – cannot be overemphasized.

Rather than waiting to learn and perfect these skill sets in your first semesters at college, execute them in your SAT preparation and fine-tune them in your high school courses. Your grades – both now and in the future – will be thankful you did!

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