The Scholastic Assessment Test, commonly known as the SAT, is required for entrance into many colleges and universities and is taken by thousands of high school juniors each year. For the serious student who is already trying to keep up with the normal rigors of high school, studying for the SAT can often be overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be as intimidating if the necessary steps are taken for preparation.
The first step is to sign up for the test. This process is very simple; it requires giving some basic personal information and paying a fee. One very important thing to remember is that it is strongly advised to register ahead of time to insure reserving a spot at the most convenient location.
Many students may wonder if it is necessary to take the optional PSAT, which is a preliminary test. While the PSAT is very similar to the SAT and can help prepare the student for the whole testing process, it is not identical and does not allow review on items that are missed. The PSAT can, however, help the student find areas needing improvement so those areas can be focused on when studying.
Whether the choice is made to take the PSAT or not, the next step is to set up a study schedule and obtain practice books. Consistency is the key. If test preparation is started months before taking the test and studying is done three to five days a week, the actual daily study time can be kept to a minimum. Fifteen to 30 minutes a day should be sufficient. If it’s hard to find time to study, try to make use of time on the bus, take advantage of a lunch break or even get up a few minutes early to study. Flash cards and lists of difficult vocabulary words can be made, so heavy books don’t need to be carried everywhere.
There are many practice tests for SAT prep which can be found in bookstores or online. These practice tests allow review of questions that are missed. Some online versions even give helpful explanations as to why the correct answer is the best choice. Remember it is important to work on specific areas of weakness. To prevent burnout it is advisable to alternate between different subjects. As testing day gets closer it will be necessary to devote a little more time to serious preparation and begin to take the full length practice exams. It might be helpful to set a timer for each exam in order to prepare for the time constraints of the actual test.
Finally, the night before the test it is important to get a good night’s sleep. On test day get up early, allowing plenty of time to get ready and eat a good breakfast.
The Scholastic Assessment test is a very important test and should not be taken lightly. With a little hard work, organization and planning, SAT prep can result in an excellent test score opening up options for college and resulting in a successful future.