Thinking About College? Your SAT Prep Guide
The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. It is also one of the most challenging components of the admissions process and requires effective planning in order to achieve success.
Deciding when to begin prepping for the SAT will vary; starting too early may leave you struggling since the content on the SAT might not be taught in school until later in the year, plus you will likely forget the material by the time the test rolls around. In contrast, starting too late will not earn you the high scores you are capable of.
Despite this, every students’ journey will be unique since each learns at a different pace with differing strengths, weaknesses, schedules, and goals.
Step One – taking the PSAT/NMSQT®:
PSAT/NMSQT® (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a preliminary version of the SAT exam. The PSAT can be written once per year, and many students take the test in both their sophomore and junior year. Earning a high score on the PSAT in your junior year could qualify you to receive a National Merit Scholarship.
Step Two – take a practice SAT:
A practice SAT is not the same as taking the PSAT. The practice SAT will include all the content found on the official SAT(including the essay), allowing you to establish an accurate baseline score, identify weak areas, and set realistic score goals.
Step Three – create a learning plan and timeline:
The intensity and length of your SAT test-prep will depend on which college you want to attend (State School vs. Ivy League). For instance, highly selective schools like MIT and Harvard are looking for scores of 1500 and above. In addition, your timeline will depend on whether you choose a more extended and gradual approach versus a shorter and intense one. These decisions will be based on individual study styles, schedules, and goals.
Factors to Consider When Building Your SAT Success Plan:
When To Take The SAT:
Students typically take the SAT a few times, it is recommended that the first time is in the fall of their junior year, the second in the spring of their junior year, and the third in the summer or fall of their senior year. However, many students prefer taking it in the winter of their junior year, when they have covered most of the material in school.
College Application Deadlines:
Typically students taking the SAT are doing so as part of their applications to 4-year colleges. Regular decision deadlines for colleges are around January 1 of senior year. But remember, early action (EA) will push your notification and deadlines up by a few months. The most common EA deadlines are November 1 and November 15. Typically, you will hear back in December, maybe even before you send off your regular decision (RD) application.
SAT Test Dates:
The SAT is offered seven times throughout the year, in March, May, June, August, October, November, and December. You will most likely take the SAT three times; therefore, creating a test schedule is crucial since you will want to leave several months in between test dates to prep effectively and increase your score.
Accounting for overlap with busy times of the year, like AP exams, IB exams, college applications, varsity sports, and extracurricular activities in junior and senior year, is imperative. Effective planning will help balance your schedule, alleviate stress, and allow you to stay focused.
SAT Test Dates:
Due to COVID-19, June 6th SAT and SAT Subject Test Administration have been cancelled.
The College Board will provide weekend
- Aug. 29
- Oct. 3
- Nov. 7
- Dec. 5
Students can register for these administrations starting in May. They will contact students directly when we have the exact date. Eligible students can register with a fee waiver.
For each administration, they are preparing to significantly expand their capacity for students to take the SAT once schools reopen so every student who wants to take the SAT can do so.
How Can Working With A Tutor Maximize Your SAT Score?
Customized Strong Study Plan:
- Create timelines
- Assign homework
- Target weaknesses
- Teach important test-taking strategies
- Reach and crush goals
Motivation and Accountability:
- Provide coaching, mentoring, and cheerleading
- Keep students on track
- Students are more engaged
- Interactive learning
- Build trust
- Lessons tailored to fit your schedule
- Critical thinking
- Test-taking strategies
- Opportunity to discuss questions/concerns in-depth
- Build confidence
- 1-to-1 learning
Get started on your SAT prep today!
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