Master the SAT Setup…Master the SAT

Sat Setup

The SAT is more than 100 years old and has been studied to the point that it’s become almost a science. It’s also perhaps the most important exam a high school student will take, having far-reaching impact on one’s life. It would be unwise to not fully prepare for something so important, and even basic understanding and casual knowledge from free SAT prep can have a big impact on test scores. The SAT is split into three sections: critical reading, mathematics and writing.

Critical Reading
Split into three sections: two 25-minute and one 20-minute, with questions about reading packages and sentence completions. In there are a total 19 sentence completion questions and 40 reading comprehension questions. What some aren’t aware of us the fact that question sets tend to become more difficult as the test progresses, therefore be sure to allot time to later questions. While reading the sections, don’t worry about memorizing details and focus on the first and last sentence of a paragraph. As a rule, skip questions you deem difficult and come back to them later; leaving a question you aren’t sure of blank isn’t as bad as not having a chance on questions you might have gotten.

Mathematics
The math required for the exam isn’t so advanced, but it must be done quickly and with clear thinking. The time frame, two 25-minute sections and one 20-minute, is the biggest problem for most students. Working efficiently is key: answer easy questions first and come back to hard ones. Easy questions usually precede hard ones. Practice will help with working efficiently – the test doesn’t repeat questions from exam to exam, but you will recognize the types of questions asked. Over time you will improve at those types.

Writing
The essay is quite standard, but basics can be forgotten when writing a rushed essay. Throwing in some big words is said to really help. Write neatly and use as much space as you can without going over. It’s a fine line, but don’t ramble as well – you won’t get another sheet of paper. Basic essay structure applies: introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Don’t waste time worrying about whether your examples are perfect, but do be sure your examples support your thesis.

 

How to Succeed on the SAT

How to succeed on the sat

The SAT, also known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, is one of the primary requirements for students looking to get into college. If you are a student who is invested in furthering their scholastic career or you are a parent who has a college-bound child, SAT prep is going to be an integral part of the college application process. The test consists of three sections, including critical reading, math and writing, and the test itself takes three hours and forty-five minutes to complete. While it is acceptable to take the test several times, it is an endurance trial, and ideally a student should only take it once.

When you are looking for SAT prep options, classes immediately become one of the first options on the table. However, the truth of the matter is that classes are not absolutely required; as a matter of fact, free SAT prep resources can keep the student grounded and in control of the situation. For example, one of the best ways to prepare for the SAT is to take sample tests. Sample tests not only give you an idea of what to expect, you’ll also find that they teach the student to pace him or herself. One of the major criticisms of this type of testing is that it penalizes students who do not operate well under pressure, and taking practice tests helps you eliminate that.

One thing that someone taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test should be aware of is that it rewards people who react well to testing in general. If you are a student who has a knack for understanding the way testing works, this test will be comparably easier for you than it is for someone who tests poorly. However, even students who test poorly can get a good score if they drill in the time frame that is given to them. Practice doing timed versions of practice tests; use B Line Test Prep’s free SAT online course so that you can do them in a timely fashion.

Another way to ensure that you succeed is by understanding a few basic pieces of information regarding the test. While each of the three sections are weighted equally, the math section is considered easier than the writing or reading sections. Consider your own strengths as a student and think about where you need to do work. If you are strong in math but weaker in writing communication, use this information to focus your studies.

When you are looking at cramming for the Scholastic Aptitude Test, remember that you should always focus on vocabulary. The written section is extremely focused on words and word choice, and one way to study for the test is to memorize the word lists that are available. However, more important than learning the words by heart, is being able to use them. Students demonstrate their mastery over the words by using them correctly. Instead of just memorizing the word meanings, you’ll find that it is very easy to simply remember the words by memorizing them as they appear in sentences. This not only cements the meaning but allows you to figure out what the word means from context.

Also consider what your test taking mode of operation is going to be. For example, one way to take the test is to go through and answer all the questions that you are relatively sure about first. This allows you to get all the way through the test. One problem that many test takers have is that they do a few questions and then they get bogged down. This can be disastrous if the slowing down happens early in the test. Instead, get through all the easier questions and then go back and answer the more difficult ones, taking your time.

Finally, when you are considering preparing for this test, remember that it is not the only one that you can take. The ACT is set up differently and most colleges that accept one will accept the other. Consider what your strengths are and which test plays to them.

Taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test can be quite daunting, but remember that you can do well with the right preparation.

 

Is My SAT Score Good Enough?

Looking at your SAT scores can be puzzling for many high school students, especially the first time taking the test. It can be tough to know whether your scores are good enough for your colleges and whether you need to take the test again. What qualifies as a good score on the SAT will be different for every student and very dependent on your future goals for college.

As you go along in your college search process, you want to pay attention to the numbers that you see in college ranking and admissions materials. You’re looking for the 25-75th percentile SAT scores for each college. These will give you a good idea of where most students fall. While there will always be exceptions, both extremely high scores and students who get in on other qualifications even with lower scores, this is a good guideline. You may also inquire about perks for higher scores, such as merit-based grants or being able to test-out of required classes during your freshman year of college.

For example, Harvard University’s 25-75th percentile scores are 2100 – 2380 and Stanford University’s 25-75th percentile scores are 2000-2310. University of California San Diego‘s 25-75th percentile scores are 1700 – 2030. Identifying these numbers before you have to decipher your scores will help you to understand where you need to be to attend your top choice schools. If you have goals in mind, it will be easier to decide if your SAT scores are good enough to be your final scores, or if you need to take the test a second or a third time and try to improve.

If your scores fall right in the average for your top choice schools, you may still wish to improve them in order to increase your chances of acceptance. If you’re well above the scores you need, you may feel comfortable with your current scores and choose to be done taking the SAT.

It’s also worth paying attention to the breakdown between subject areas. Colleges generally want to see people with balanced scores, not extremely high scores in one section and significantly lower scores in another. Some variation between the scores is normal, especially if you have a much stronger interest and talent in one area. If the scores are too lopsided, however, you may want to spend some time studying for your weaker subject and take the test again to improve your scores.

How to Get a Killer Letter of Recommendation

Getting a killer letter of recommendation can be a valuable addition to your college or grad school applications. While you cannot dictate exactly what will go into your letter of recommendation, there are many ways to ensure that you will get the best letter of recommendation possible.

Selecting the right person to write a letter of recommendation is an important decision that deserves some thought. Try to select people that have been important to you during your education. People who know you well will have more to say than a teacher or professor who knew you only through one class. Select your guidance counselor only if you had a close relationship during your high school years. A teacher who was a mentor throughout high school or a professor who served as your adviser throughout college will be in a good position to write a good letter of recommendation.

In addition to choosing someone who knows you well, you may consider subject areas. For example, if you are applying to medical school, your undergraduate biology professor would be a better choice than your French professor. For undergraduate applications, most students will want to consider variety. Choose teachers who know you in different contexts and will be able to speak to your different skills and strengths. You want your letters of recommendations to make a cohesive picture of you as a student and as an individual.

It is always a good idea to give the people you select plenty of time to write the letter of recommendation. Make time to go see them in person to ask if they would be willing to write the letter in the first place. Discussing it in person will give you a chance to let them know more about your goals and why it would mean a lot to you to receive their letter of recommendation. Planning ahead will ensure that they have time to write the letter you deserve. Follow up with a reminder visit, phone call, or email if you or your guidance counselor have not received the letter within a week or two of the deadline.

Finally, don’t be shy about telling the person writing your letter of recommendation more about what you want to convey in your application. You can frame this more as a discussion about your future goals, but it is also a way to help them know how to best frame your letter. Your teachers and professors want to write the best letter possible, so giving them more information is always appreciated. You can also let them know that they can always ask if they have questions as they write your letter. Let them know that you appreciate their work and be sure to thank them and keep them updated on your application process. These are often the people who you want to remain engaged in your education and to keep as mentors in the future.

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