5 Tips for Acing the SAT
Preparing for the SAT can typically be viewed as an almost overwhelming task for teens. They often find themselves trying to wade through a myriad of study books, methods and courses to help them earn a higher score as the awaited test day nears. As an Educational Specialist who has helped teens prepare for the SAT, I have found the following tips to be useful in helping teenagers increase their SAT Scores, keeping in mind the minor changes the SAT will undergo in the spring of 2016. The scoring will decrease from the existing 2400 scale to a 1600 point scale, and the essay will be optional. However, whether teens are preparing to take the current SAT or the new SAT, they may find the following study tips effective to help them earn a higher score.
1. Teenage students benefit from learning the meanings and spelling of the SAT level affixes, which include Greek affixes. The new SAT will more closely test the students' knowledge of the vocabulary terms from their high school curriculum and terms they will probably encounter in their collegiate level studies. Students can locate lists of vocabulary terms to learn either online or in an SAT workbook. Students should try to learn 10 affixes and 10 or more new words per week. Knowing the meaning the affixes will help teens more accurately the meaning of words they may not be familiar with. In addition, learning affixes will help students' decoding skills and in turn improve their reading level.
2. Whether or not a teen is enrolled in an SAT preparation course they can benefit from working through the reading comprehension exercises found on SAT study books. Completing a reading comprehension drill only takes the teen typically less than 20 minutes. Teens who complete several reading comprehension drills a week can closely analyze the types of reading comprehension questions they score well on and the ones which provide them the most difficulty. Teens can then purchase a test-taking workbook that provides reading comprehension exercises geared to strengthen their weaker areas.
3. The writing section of the SAT is designed to test teens' knowledge of grammar and presentation of information in a written form. One of the initial ways to help students strengthen their written language skills is to learn and over learn the grammar rules used in the English language. A list of the rules for commas, semicolon, colons, etc., can be found online or in an SAT workbook. Students benefit from practicing correcting and editing sentences in order to improve them. In addition, students can work through exercises designed to teach students how to correctly use high school and collegiate-level grammar rules. Teens benefit from making a grammar rule card box and self-drilling over the rules on a consistent basis. The exercises in an SAT workbook can provide teens with the knowledge of what types of rules they need to concentrate their study efforts on.
4. Modern students also have the advantage of having access to prepared SAT flash cards produced by various companies. Teens have improved their scores by self-drilling over sets of 20 at a time flash cards. The benefit of the SAT flash cards is there are explanations for the correct answers on the backs of the cards. The flash cards are convenient, inexpensive and easy-to-use. The flash cards drill the student over the needed knowledge in each of the three areas on the test.
5. The mathematics section on the test can be difficult for students who may not be as strong in math as many of their peers. Smaller SAT books can be useful to teens, which only teach the mathematic section of the tests. Teens can find step-by-step detailed instructions to help them learn the formulas which typically appear on the SAT. Additionally, students can use the SAT flash cards to help them master the mathematical formulas, steps and procedures. Teens can ask their mathematically gifted peers to go over the formulas for which they need further assistance learning. Teens may also find highlighting the steps of the formulas to be helpful while practicing each step.
Barbara Dianis is CEO and founder of Dianis Educational Systems, and has influenced society to view students with various learning issues as capable students who can overcome these issues if they are taught properly. Dianis has also run an educational tutoring business for the past 20 years that has helped thousands of students with dyslexia, ADD, ADHD and learning differences to achieve enormous scholastic and professional successes.