SAT Essay Tips and Tricks

The SAT essay section is part of the SAT writing section that is scored on a scale of 200 to 800 points. The writing section, added to the test in 2005, also includes 49 multiple choice questions that make up 70 percent of the writing score. Students have 35 minutes to complete the multiple choice questions.

Students then have 25 minutes to complete the SAT essay section. The essay will make up 30 percent of the total writing score. On test day, the essay section will provide each student with a prompt that asks them to write a short essay providing a point of view on an issue.

Writing skills are much more important than having prior knowledge about the issue in the prompt. It is important to use proper spelling and grammar throughout the essay and go back and check your work before turning in the test. This part of the SAT also tests how well students can put together a coherent argument and plan out their essay within the required time. Be sure to take the time to write an engaging opening and solid conclusion.

To prepare for the SAT essay section, it is important for students to get comfortable with the type of essay they will need to write for the test. SAT test prep should include plenty of online practice tests and time spent writing similar essays. Reading sample prompts during online test prep sessions will also help you to stay calm and work effectively on test day. When you take practice tests, always set a timer or keep track of your time so that you will know how long it takes you to complete an essay. This will help you to manage your time during the essay section of the SAT.

The SAT essay section is graded by two readers who are provided with detailed criteria for the essay. Each reader independently scores each essay on a scale of one to six. This system has proved an effective way to score the SAT essay section. Studies by the College Board have shown that the readers rank the essay within one point of each other 98% of the time. If there is discrepancy between the first two readers’ scores, a third reader will read and score the essay.

Preparing for the SAT essay section through online test prep and practice essays will help you to do your best work on test day. The ability to write an interesting and coherent short essay is a skill that will be important throughout the college application process and during your college years.

Online test prep vs one-on-one tutoring: which is right for you?

There are many options available to prepare for the SAT. One of the big decisions that students will need to make is to decide between one-on-one tutoring and an online test prep course. Both options provide many benefits and can be a good choice for the right student.

Online test prep can allow students to work at their own pace and review material on their own schedule. Students who choose online test prep can have the option to go back and review challenging material multiple times or skip over sections that they are already comfortable completing. Students can plan when they will work on their SAT test prep, studying at any hour of the day and whenever they have the free time. This can make online test prep a great choice for high school students with hectic schedules.  Online test prep is also a good choice for students who are self-motivated and already have basic knowledge of the SAT. These students will be able to work on their time and complete practice tests to gauge their progress. Online practice tests are one of the most important parts of SAT test prep as they allow students to experience the format of the SAT and get familiar with taking the test.

One-on-one tutoring for the SAT can be a good option for students who prefer to have in-person communication and will benefit from having someone there to push them to complete their test prep. Students who struggle in a certain area of the SAT such as math skills or the fundamentals of writing an essay may be able to use one-on-one test prep as a way to build up these skills and prepare for them on the test.

Students will need to schedule SAT prep sessions in advance and stick to their schedule in order to accommodate a tutor. A good tutor will be able to provide students with tips, build their confidence, and give them practice tests to access their skills. In-person tutors are often a good choice for students who like to have a set schedule and a live person at the desk for questions.

The choice between one-on-one tutoring and online SAT test prep is an important decision and one that is very reliant on each student’s individual study habits and skills. With the right program, students will gain invaluable preparation, test taking skills, and confidence to perform their best on the SAT.

Considerations When Applying to Your College Safety Schools

A safety school is a college where, due to your grades and test scores, you are almost certain to be accepted. For most students, it is best to incorporate a safety school into their list of colleges during the application process. A safety school can help ease anxiety about the college application process during a time when maintaining grades and completing SAT test prep are still top priorities. While many students apply to a safety school only to have a back-up option if other schools don’t offer acceptance, there are still important things to consider before selecting your safety schools.

Choose Schools That You Like
No one should apply to a college that they wouldn’t want to attend. Make your safety schools worth your time and effort by choosing schools that have something that appeals to you. Just because a school is sure to offer you acceptance, doesn’t mean its program is any worse than a school where admission is more difficult. Choose one with a good program in your tentative major or one with a lot of good extracurricular options. Plan campus visits to your safety schools and take time to learn about them. Also consider where the school is located and be sure it is a place you can actually see yourself living during college. Choosing a safety school where you can picture yourself learning and growing for four years will make it feel like less of a safety school and more of a real option.

Do Your Best Work
While it’s tempting to put more effort into applications for your top choice schools, it’s worth your time to do your best on every application that you submit. In addition to preparing your applications and writing good essays, it is critical to maintain your high school grades and make time for SAT test preparation. A good SAT test prep program will prepare you for the SAT and give you the confidence to do well. If you have a busy senior year schedule, consider online SAT test prep as a good option for SAT test preparation. It will often allow you more control over the schedule and online SAT test prep programs can prepare you just as well as a formal class.

Consider Financial Aid
Before applying to your colleges, consider what would happen if you were offered an exceptional financial aid offer to one of your safety schools. Would it be worth attending your second choice college if they were offering a full scholarship? This answer will be different for everyone and will depend on many factors. The subject of financial aid is an important thing to consider and a good conversation to have with a parent or guardian before you are faced with making a decision under a deadline.

SAT Critical Reading Tips

The SAT critical reading section is designed to test students’ abilities to read and understand material. There are important skills that can help students approach the critical reading section with smart work skills. For this reason, a solid SAT prep program is essential to performing well on this section of the SAT.

The critical reading section is made up of 67 questions total. Of these, 48 are passage-based reading multiple choice and 19 are sentence completion. The questions are broken down into two 25 minute sections and one 20 minute section. The critical reading section is scored on a 200 to 800 point scale that will make up one-third of the total SAT score.

The passage based reading section asks students to read both short and long passages and answer a series of multiple choice questions about the material. The goal of this section is to test reading comprehension. Many students choose to read over the questions first to get a sense of what is important. After reading the questions, go back and carefully read the passage.

It is important to remember that the questions about each passage in this section are arranged not by difficulty, but in chronological order. This means it is best to work in the order that the questions are given so that it is easier to isolate the appropriate section of the passage for reference. One of the sections is a duel-passage section that will require students to read two passages and answer questions about each individually and some that reference both sections. It is typically best to answer the separate questions about each passage first and then begin the ones that will require knowledge of both.

The sentence completion section presents students with an incomplete sentence that they will need to fill in with the appropriate word. There may only be one blank word in the sentence or there may be two that need to be filled in.

While having a strong vocabulary will certainly help in this section, it is just as important to read carefully and be sure that you understand the sentence. If you don’t immediately know the answer, see if you can eliminate possible answers until one becomes the clear choice. It is also a good idea to read the sentence to yourself with the word filled in to be certain that it makes sense.

Time management is an important factor in the critical reading section. It is crucial to read both carefully and quickly in order to answer the questions in the allotted time. A solid SAT preparation program will help students get comfortable with the format so that they can relax and do their best on test day.

Taking practice tests during your SAT test prep is one of the best ways to prepare for the critical reading section. A good plan for test preparation will also help students hone their reading comprehension skills and feel comfortable with the format of the SAT critical reading section. The more you read passages that are similar to the ones on the SAT, the more quickly and accurately you will be able to work on test day.

Senior Year Planning

Senior year of high school can be an extremely busy time. Many deadlines and decisions are on the horizon and it can be overwhelming for students to balance all of their responsibilities. Developing a solid plan for senior year can help you to avoid stress and assure that everything is done on time.

Fall

The fall of senior year is often the time students choose to devote to taking the SAT. Schedule the test and begin to devote time to studying and preparing for the test. Online test prep is one good option to help SAT test prep fit into an already busy school schedule.

The fall is also the time to seriously narrow down college options. Once you have a list of the schools where you will be applying, organize important dates and deadlines onto a master calendar.

Researching financial aid is another important task for the fall. This involves researching student loan options, scholarships and grants, and options available at each of your colleges.

Winter

Winter of senior year is the time to focus on completing college applications. Many will use the same common application supplemented by some additional questions and information. Take time to write your essays and be sure they are a good reflection of your strengths. Be sure to ask for letters of recommendations early on in the process so that you give your teachers, guidance counselors, and employers plenty of time to write the recommendation.

Once everything is complete, be sure to double check that all parts of the application are there and send them in. Most high schools will provide resources to help students prepare the final application packet.

At this point, many colleges will also want to schedule a personal interview. This is both a time for the college to speak with you and gain additional insight into your application and also a time for you to ask questions about the selection process and why you should choose their college. Viewing the interview as a conversation will keep you from being nervous and help you get the most out of this experience.

Spring

By spring of senior year, you will have heard back from your colleges and it is time to focus on making a decision. If you were accepted to multiple schools, it is often worthwhile to visit these colleges once again. These campus visits can help you to make a confident decision. While on campus, you will want to take another tour, sit in on a class, and talk to current students about their college experience. Be sure to ask plenty of questions of students, staff, and representatives in the admissions office.

Before making a decision, you will also want to discuss your plans with your family, particularly concerning financial aid and how you will be paying for college. Once you have reached a decision, send out your acceptance and rejection letters to all the colleges that accepted you. Your school will soon be sending you more information and you’ll be busy planning for next year. You can now proudly announce your college plans and enjoy the conclusion of your high school career.

Summer–A Little Studying Can Go a Long Way

Finally! School is out for the summer and you have a three months of laying around in the sun or watching television for hours each day. After the first few weeks, you will quickly learn that the monotony of leisure becomes boring, and you still have weeks of vacation left. With all of this extra time on your hands, what can you do to still have fun and make the most of your summer vacation? Why not use some of your spare time for SAT test prep?

SAT test prep in the summer?!? No, it is not that crazy of an idea. The first test in the fall happens in October, just a month after you return to classes. One month will not give you enough time to get ready, but you can use your spare time in the summer to get ready for the all important SAT test.

Trying to wait until September for your test prep means that you will have to be trying to cram with all night sessions in addition to your school homework and social activities like dances and football games. Instead of pulling a series of September all nighters, take just a few minutes each day during the summer to learn a new word or math problem. This daily form of SAT test prep will be easy and nearly effortless, especially if compared to the traditional study binge many students try.

When looking for an SAT test prep program, you might be thinking that you have to spend half of your summer inside a classroom. That might have been how your parents got ready for the test, but today, you no longer have to be tied to a test prep classroom desk, nor do you have to be tied to your computer at a set time for online tutorials. For total flexibility, you want a study program that is ready when you are. A self-paced 24 hour online SAT test prep program, such as the one at B Line Test Prep, offers you a way to both have fun through the summer and get ready to take the SAT in October without cramming.

With a self-paced program, you get to spend your study time more efficiently. Instead of a classroom where the test reviewer moves at a constant pace, whether you understand the material or not, a self-paced prep program lets you concentrate on areas where you might be struggling, but spend less time on where you are proficient. Why waste time going over material you already know? Focusing on areas of the SAT where you need work will make you feel better prepared for the test come October, or whenever you opt to take it.

Flexibility for your time and your learning styles should prompt you to choose a 24 hour online SAT test prep program to use just a few minutes each day over the boring summer months to get ready for one of the most important tests of your life – the SAT.

Preparing for the SAT Critical Reading Section

The Critical Reading section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test focuses on two things: sentence completion and reading comprehension. When combined, the two sections exemplify a student’s grasp of the English language and their ability to recognize and utilize various parts of speech. The critical reading section, in the past, was known simply as the verbal section but now its goal has expanded; the idea being that a student shouldn’t simply know a variety of words congruent with their grade level, but also be well versed with their precise usage.

The sentence completion section is designed to gauge the student’s familiarity with a range of words: their form of speech, usage, and of course, meaning. The latter of which is can be very specific, often the range of answers will include synonyms and/or homophones in order to eliminate the usage of the ever-popular educated guess. Aside from meaning and usage, sentence completion questions measure the student’s ability to structure and form sentences, to know logically how all the parts work together in order to communicate a clear and complete idea. Knowing words and their meanings is the most reliable form of preparation for the sentence completion section, guessing is not a recommended strategy.

The other half of the Critical Reading section is passage based reading. Passages are selected from a wide range of subjects and topics and can be as short as one hundred words to eight hundred. This means one passage can be a half of a short story that is followed by the opening paragraphs of George Kennan’s Article X. Scientific articles are often used as well as humanities based and political pieces. The passages will be presented within a range of styles and normally feature several elements: narration, exposition, argumentation, and the like.

A student preparing for the SAT should be aware of the range the critical reading passages can cover, but simultaneously they should be aware that the major focus of the passage based reading is to test vocabulary, comprehension, and extended reasoning. Vocabulary questions are, somewhat like the sentence completion questions, formulated in order to know that a student is capable of determining meanings of words and phrases based on context. The focus of literary comprehension is to make certain that the student grasps and understands the material. Extended reasoning comprises a majority of the passage based reading questions and they oblige the test taker to make inferences or analyze and identify causes and effects. Reasoning questions can be broader as well, requiring identification of main ideas, purpose, or tone. Another popular but very necessary sort of question, which focuses much more on the extended part of the reasoning, will ask that the test taker replicate the logic of arguments or analogies within the text and apply them to ideas extraneous to the text. Simply put, the objective behind the questions is to determine whether or not the test taker can analyze texts rather than read them and prove that basically, they understand them.

Click the following link for information on free online SAT prep.


© 2009 - 2017 B Line Test Prep | All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board. Neither the College Board or the Graduate Admission Council is not affiliated and does not endorse this website. All marks are the property of their respective owners.