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.

Helicopter Parenting

Helicopter parenting is a term that is used to describe parents who are so closely involved in their child’s life that they seem to hover around them like a helicopter. Often this is taken to the extreme when a child’s academics are at stake. While there is nothing wrong with parents taking an interest in their children’s lives, schoolwork, and activities, helicopter parents often take this interest to the extreme to the point that it becomes detrimental to the child.
SAT preparations and the college application process can be particularly trying times for helicopter parents and their children. A helicopter parent may attempt to oversee their child’s SAT test prep and college applications, pushing them to excel at all costs and on the parent’s schedule. Often, this is detrimental to the child who may feel discouraged with their parent’s expectations and stifled by the pressure.

For students, having a helicopter parent can be frustrating, especially during the years when they are faced with some of their first important adult decisions. While parents should encourage their high school student to dedicate time to SAT test prep, practice tests, and time to applying for colleges, it is important that these decisions are made with the child and not for the child. This is the time that high school students should be learning to take charge of their responsibilities and plan their own schedules.

The best thing that a parent can do for their child during SAT prep and the college application process is to prepare them for independence. This means taking an active interest while allowing them the space to step up and take responsibility. This will help them to form the skills that will allow them to function after leaving home, perform well in college, and make good decisions. Often encouraging independence means allowing your student to make decisions with your guidance, not making decisions for them.

Children of helicopter parents can easily feel lost in college and out on their own. They may feel a lack of self-sufficiency and unable to make good decisions without parental approval and involvement. Parents can prevent these things by empowering their child to learn and grow, getting comfortable with making decisions that are right for them. Taking a step back can be a critical step in your child’s success.

Should I take the SAT II?

The SAT II is made up of subject tests that students choose to take individually. Deciding whether or not to take any SAT II tests will depend largely on your academic strengths and the colleges to which you are applying. Some colleges will have requirements about SAT II exams while others will not require them at all.
Even if you are not required to take the SAT II, strong scores will only add to your college applications. Online test prep, including plenty of practice tests to get familiar with the subject tests, will help students prepare for each SAT II exam.

The Literature subject test is designed to measure how well students can read and interpret passages of literature. The test is made up of about 60 multiple choice questions in six to eight sections. The content is approximately half poetry and half prose and approximately half British authors and half American authors. Students taking the Literature subject test should know terminology used to interpret literature.

Two history tests are given: SAT II World History and SAT II US History. The US History test is made up of approximately 90 multiple choice questions covering political, social, economic, and cultural history, as well as foreign policy.

French, Spanish, German, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese are all available as a foreign language test and as a language with listening test. Italian, Modern Hebrew, and Latin are available only as exams without a listening section. The language exams are made up of approximately 85 questions that cover reading comprehension, vocabulary, and structure. The listening exam is made up of 35 percent listening section where test takers will listen to passages and answer questions based on the information.

There are two levels of SAT II math tests available. Math I is for students who have taken at least two years of algebra and one year of geometry. Math II is for students who have also taken courses in pre-calculus and trigonometry. Each math test is made up of 50 questions.

There are three SAT II science exams. Students taking the SAT II Biology can opt on test day to take Biology Ecological or Biology Molecular based on which type of biology questions they would like to answer. 20 out of the 80 multiple choice questions on the exam will be specialized towards either ecological or molecular biology based on the selection. The SAT II Physics exam covers all basic areas of physics and has 75 questions. SAT II Chemistry is made up of 85 questions covering major topics in Chemistry. Students should be prepared to recall knowledge as well as apply knowledge and synthesize information.

Each exam takes one hour to complete and is scored on a 200-800 point scale. If you excel in one or more of the subject areas that can be tested on the SAT II, it can often be beneficial to demonstrate this knowledge by performing well on the SAT II subject tests.

Changing your frame of mind

Moving from summer back into school mode can be a challenge for even the best student. Adapting your schedule and making time for all of your responsibilities will be particularly important in the back-to-school transition. Building a good structure early in the school year can help set the tone for a successful year.

For students whose summer schedules have had different hours, it can be difficult to readjust to a school schedule. It will help to start make the adjustment the week before school starts instead of waiting until the first day of school. Set your alarm for the time you will need to wake up for school and start getting to sleep earlier. This will help your body adjust to your new hours.

It is also a good idea to have your backpack or bag ready to go the night before so that everything you need for the school day is in one place. This will prevent things from being forgotten in the morning. Be sure that you have a few easy options for breakfast on hand so that mornings will run smoothly and you’ll be able to get off to school having eaten a good breakfast. For some students, protein shakes or nutrition bars can offer a good option for days when you’re in a hurry or have to eat on the go.

For some high school students, back to school means time to begin serious preparations for the SAT. Establishing an SAT test prep schedule early on can help you to plan other activities around it and maintain your ideal study schedule. An online test prep course can be a good choice for students who want a more flexible schedule that can fit around schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

Be sure to choose an organizational method that works for you. Having an agenda, day planner, or personal organizer that works for you will help you to keep track of your time. Keep your calendar up to date, especially while you are still adjusting to your new class schedule. This will also help you plan after-school activities and keep track of homework assignments. Getting in the habit of writing things down will help you continue to keep on top of assignments and schedules throughout the year.

Setting aside time for homework and study time is especially important early in the school year. Oftentimes the schedule that you set from the beginning will help you to maintain good study habits throughout the school year. For many students, getting homework done immediately after school or during a specific time in the evening can help. This will allow you to complete your work and also make time for hobbies, friends, and other priorities.

Moving from summer back into school mode can be a challenge for even the best student. Adapting your schedule and making time for all of your responsibilities will be particularly important in the back-to-school transition. Building a good structure early in the school year can help set the tone for a successful year.

For students whose summer schedules have had different hours, it can be difficult to readjust to a school schedule. It will help to start make the adjustment the week before school starts instead of waiting until the first day of school. Set your alarm for the time you will need to wake up for school and start getting to sleep earlier. This will help your body adjust to your new hours.

It is also a good idea to have your backpack or bag ready to go the night before so that everything you need for the school day is in one place. This will prevent things from being forgotten in the morning. Be sure that you have a few easy options for breakfast on hand so that mornings will run smoothly and you’ll be able to get off to school having eaten a good breakfast. For some students, protein shakes or nutrition bars can offer a good option for days when you’re in a hurry or have to eat on the go.

For some high school students, back to school means time to begin serious preparations for the SAT. Establishing an SAT test prep schedule early on can help you to plan other activities around it and maintain your ideal study schedule. An online test prep course can be a good choice for students who want a more flexible schedule that can fit around schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

Be sure to choose an organizational method that works for you. Having an agenda, day planner, or personal organizer that works for you will help you to keep track of your time. Keep your calendar up to date, especially while you are still adjusting to your new class schedule. This will also help you plan after-school activities and keep track of homework assignments. Getting in the habit of writing things down will help you continue to keep on top of assignments and schedules throughout the year.

Setting aside time for homework and study time is especially important early in the school year. Oftentimes the schedule that you set from the beginning will help you to maintain good study habits throughout the school year. For many students, getting homework done immediately after school or during a specific time in the evening can help. This will allow you to complete your work and also make time for hobbies, friends, and other priorities.

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.

The SAT Exam Unveiled

The SAT exam is a student aptitude test which has selected the mediums of math and English in which to test intellectual ability. The SAT is a three hour and forty-five minute test, however, only three hours and twenty minutes count towards your test score, since the practice section takes twenty five minutes and is not graded.

The SAT exam is broken down into ten sections. The reading part encompasses three sections of the exam. In the reading section, there are nineteen questions of sentence completion problems, and forty-eight reading comprehension questions, which is a total of sixty-seven questions in all. The writing part is also three sections of the exam, and includes forty-nine grammar questions and one essay. Discounting the experimental section, the math section encompasses the last three parts of the test. In it are forty-four multiple choice questions and ten grid-in questions, making a total of fifty four questions. In short, the sections are as follows:

- Reading
1. Completing the sentence (19 questions)
2. Reading comprehension (48 questions)

- Writing
1. Short Essay
2. Identifying sentence errors*
3. Improving sentences*
4. Improving paragraphs*
* In the writing section there is one short essay question. The other three sections can be divided up as the test writer sees fit, but all are focusing on grammar.

-Math
1. Multiple choice, encompassing basic math and equations (44 questions)
2. Grid-in, such as plotting graphs and lines (10 questions)

-Experimental section
The experimental section can be contained within any part of the test, on any subject. It usually contains harder questions, but these questions aren’t scored. They are being considered for use on next year’s SATs. So if you run into questions that are especially harder or more confusing than the others, don’t worry- they may be the experimental ones.

The three sections of the SAT test are scored independently, which means that students will receive a reading score, a writing score, and a math score. Each score can range from 200 to 800 points, with a total test score of 600 to 2400 points. The total average score for students is 1500, or about 500 on each section.

But how do you achieve these scores? The key is to pace yourself and to practice. Pacing is important on the SAT because, though time is strictly limited, many of the questions require careful analyzing and consideration. Many students make the mistake of reading too quickly in hopes of gathering the gist of the question. They answer confidently, but are startled to find later that they answered incorrectly because they have misunderstood the directions or missed subtle points within the question. This of course means that it is important for students to take as much time as possible and to be confident in their answers before moving on to the next problem.

In order to perform to the best of their abilities, it is crucial for students to undergo SAT test preparation. Test prep is proven to raise test scores because students will be prepared not only for the type of questions listed within the SAT exam, but they will also be comfortable answering a large amount of questions in a seemingly short time limit. SAT practice books are readily available, but the most cost effective way for a student to practice is to visit an SAT test preparation website and practice taking the test online. Bline Test Prep is an excellent website for test preparation- it is affordable, easily accessible, and chock full of up-to-date data and questions for the SAT test preparation courses.

Taking the SAT can be an ominous task. However, it is of vital importance to any student wishing to be accepted into the majority of colleges. With the proper practice and resources, the SAT is not as foreboding as it may seem upon first glance. All it takes is a little practice and a bit of knowledge about the test and the sort of questions found therein. Online SAT test preparation sites such as Bline Test Prep will give students the confidence they need to do their best on the SAT test and succeed at getting their best possible scores.


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