With the passage of Labor Day comes a return to all things academic: college applications, homework, and, yes, preparation for dreaded standardized tests like the SAT. While a majority of high school students may view September as the month that precedes the SAT crush, it is, instead, an excellent opportunity to purchase a pumpkin spice latte and open that SAT study guide.
Why begin early, you ask? Those four weeks of preparation may result in a significant score increase, potentially as much as 140 points or more. Beginning your SAT test preparation in September affords you a significant advantage – provided you utilize the additional hours appropriately. But how do you do that? For individuals who have not yet taken an exam like the SAT, the process can seem arduous, not to mention complicated! However, the four suggestions below are a fine place to begin. Read each one carefully, then dive right in!
1. Select an exam date
If you function best with a firm deadline in place, mark this initial step as especially important to your success. Do not delay – schedule your SAT test this week. Once you do this, you will also be able to set a quantifiable end date for your test preparation. It is far more difficult to procrastinate when your October or December test looms large in your mind.
2. Complete a diagnostic test
A diagnostic exam is a full-length SAT test that utilizes SAT questions to gauge your familiarity and skill with its content. Diagnostic exams are bountiful, both online and in study guides. Before you begin your preparation in earnest, complete the test in one sitting. Its results will inform what material you need to review and for how long of a time. The diagnostic exam will also enable you to gain immediate and intimate knowledge of the scope of the SAT, as well as of your test-taking style. Do you rush or run short on time? Do you suffer from exam anxiety? Your responses to these questions will inform your preparation practice.
3. Research SAT preparation tools
The manner in which you learn best differs from each high school student who completes the SAT. How you prepare to succeed on the exam should reflect this reality. Research your options: review sessions with a close friend, study guides, working with a tutor, etc. Utilize your findings from the diagnostic test to identify the type of assistance you require. Tutors, in particular, provide a rigorous curriculum and targeted aid, while study groups and guides may be best suited to an individual with high internal motivation levels and a strong grasp of the test’s material. Commit to a method once you complete your research.
4. Remain loyal to your plan
The single best technique to ensure SAT success is to approach the exam with a thoughtful plan; the above three suggestions enable you to prepare just that. Whether you opt for an application on a smart device or for a personal tutor, your plan will expose you to the content and strategies you require in order to earn a competitive SAT score. But it is imperative that your plan takes into account your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your preferences. A solid plan takes time to develop. Use this first month of school to fully delve into its creation and, from there, into the world of SAT test preparation.
Best of luck!
Question about SAT prep? Visit http://www.varsitytutors.com and subscribe above to receive the latest posts.