Using SAT Prep Courses to Prepare for Test Day
SAT test, or Scholastic Aptitude Test, is one of the standardized tests most
college admissions departments require. The other test commonly used is the
ACT, or American College Test. While the ACT test measures how well you learned
in high school, the SAT goes a little deeper.
The SAT evaluates the three main areas of learning to see how well you reason, verbalize and apply the knowledge you have. Namely, these areas are critical reading, writing skills and mathematics. Maybe our ancestors had it right when they only required reading, writing and arithmetic!
According to the SAT College Board, your SAT scores and your high school grades together predict how successful you will be academically in college. For this reason, most colleges evaluate a student's SAT scores when determining whether to admit him.
The SAT test is typically taken during a student's junior year. If he is unsatisfied with the results, he can take it again during his senior year of high school. There is a registration process which involves fees so careful and early planning is necessary.
One reason the SAT is held in such high regard is that it is difficult to cram before this test. The best SAT prep is years of devoted learning and challenging high school classes. Since the test is a measurement of real life knowledge, learning outside the classroom through reading and writing is crucial for the best test results.
While you cannot prepare for the test overnight, SAT prep courses familiarize you with the test format and the types of questions on the test. Knowing what to expect helps you relax and let your inner knowledge flow naturally during the testing process.
How you prepare for the SAT largely depends on how you prepare for any other test. Do you study best on your own or in a group? Is your preference to prepare for a test with quiet reading of the material or a noisy challenge game with friends?
Here a few of the options you have for SAT classes:
Find a school that offers SAT prep courses.
If you enjoy interaction with others, you may prefer to prepare for your SAT in a group setting. A larger group will function much like a classroom, and you will find it much like a teacher lecturing. However, sometimes these courses meet in small groups of less than 15 students. This is optimal because it is the perfect environment for practicing skills with others.
Another option is tutoring in a group. This takes some of the pressure off since you would not be the only one with the tutor. However, it is small enough of a group that you can still have personalized attention.
If you are interested in a group SAT prep course, check your local high school. They may already have a group meeting. Groups also meet at a separate learning center or a public place such as a library.
Prepare on your own at home.
You may be the type of student that likes to learn on your own. There are many ways to do this, but the most popular is the old-fashioned SAT prep book. They are relatively inexpensive, and you can work totally at your own pace. You can call or e-mail someone if you need help, but for the most part you are on your own.
If you like technology, there are apps available for your mobile device to help you practice for the test. This is a good method for those who bore easily since you can use games and graphics to keep up your interest. The apps are generally free or cheaper than a prep book.
Some people need specialized help to prepare for the standardized tests. You may consider hiring a private tutor to come to your home or meet you in a public place. This gives you a break from the scrutiny of others but may significantly improve your score. Be aware that private tutors do not come cheap. You have to decide if the cost is worth it to you.
Take a SAT online course.
A method that may appeal to both the social and the introverted students is SAT prep online. The options range from an e-classroom setting to a private online tutor. This gives you the opportunity to prepare in your own home on your own schedule with a teacher chosen to your specifications. If you are the more social type, you can still learn at home but with other students in the virtual classroom.
Online courses do cost money, but they are often more budget-friendly since they do not involve commute. The tutors available online may be better qualified since they sign up from areas all over the country.
One such website which offers a money-back guarantee and protects privacy and financial transactions is Acadsoc. This site is among the reputable online academies which offer online SAT prep.
Combine different SAT courses.
When preparing for the SAT, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. While any of the above options may appeal to you, you can also do a combination of things to prepare. You may prefer to study with a prep book before enrolling in a SAT online course. Conversely, you may want to enroll in a class in a real building but get into more of the details with a private tutor at home.
If you are comfortable with one area of the test such as the reading and writing, you may just want to find specified help such as a SAT math prep class. On the other hand, you may want to hire a writing instructor to help you hone those skills instead of spending the bulk of your preparation time on mathematics.
Regardless of the method you choose, make sure you do take time to prepare for this important test. Colleges make many decisions based on these test scores as well as your high school grades, extracurricular activities and references. Your future could depend on whether you took the best SAT prep course or compromised on the quality of your preparation.