7 Tips to Help Your Teen Prepare for the SAT (page 2)
Even if you haven’t cracked open a textbook in a decade, there are still many things you can do to help your college-bound teen prepare for the SAT. Here are seven ways you can help your teen maximize her score:
1. Get to Know the Enemy
The SAT’s format is crucial. Have your teen write up a set of test-format flashcards. Knowing not only the sections on the test but also each section’s directions, number of questions, and allotted time will reduce test anxiety and save time.
Each SAT section has a set of favorite question and answer types, including traps. Having these strategies down will improve confidence and scores on test day. Talk to your teen routinely about the strategies.
3. Set a Pre-Practice Test
A practice test is a critical part of preparing for the SAT. You can use a practice test to determine your teen’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s a good idea to continue giving practice tests throughout the course of your teen’s studies. All you need to do is set aside a block of time and have a couple of No. 2 pencils, an eraser, a calculator, a kitchen timer, and a Scantron (the answer grid). To complete this test-like scenario, find the script that the official SAT proctors use on the College Board’s Website. Strictly adhere to the test’s instructions, reading each section’s directions, following time guidelines, and giving breaks just as the proctor will on test day.
4. Create a Study Plan—Study Smarter, Not Harder!
Once you’ve determined your teen’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to create a study plan. Within the test prep book, you will find a breakdown of how the SAT is scored and what your child’s score means. From there, determine what areas require the most attention and start there. Learning new material takes time and there is no sense in studying concepts that she’s already mastered, especially when they’ll be reinforced through the quizzes and practice tests.
5. Keep a Progress Chart
Chart quizzes and practice tests. Studying for something as large as the SAT can be daunting and overwhelming. Keeping a progress chart not only helps to maintain the study plan but also incentivizes. Seeing that score rise serves as a reminder of how many obstacles your teen has overcome and builds confidence.
6. Keep Stress at Bay
Reinforce positive behaviors and results. Try to encourage positive ways to relieve stress through breathing, counting to ten, and recollecting focus. Make certain that she is taking breaks between studying. Help reduce stress by taking breaks to do healthy activities, such as taking a walk with her friends or reading her favorite magazine.
7. Before the Big Test
About a week before the big day, stop studying. Rather than trying to cram new or difficult information into the last week, focus on the strengths, reinforcing method, format, and strategies. The day before the test, do something relaxing, like going to the movies or taking a family bike ride. And, finally, make certain that she is eating healthy and getting enough rest.
You can’t take the SAT for your child. But, you can certainly be involved and supportive along the way. Following these seven tips will not only help your teen gain confidence, it may raise her scores!
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