The weeks leading up to just about every SAT exam are usually the same; they mostly consist of an inordinate number of students trying to cram several months of preparation into just several weeks. The calls we receive from students who fall into this category generally go something like “Why??? Why didn’t I prepare early with Test Masters, the nation’s leading test preparation company, whose 300 point Score Increase Guarantee would have assuredly propelled me to success on this nefarious exam? Why?” Okay, so that might be a bit of an over exaggeration. Most of the calls we receive from students who aren’t ready for the SAT are closer to “What do I do now?”
First, stay calm.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you are probably already familiar with Score Choice (if you don’t know what Score Choice is, read this article and this article). Keep in mind this is the first SAT exam of the fall season. Even if you are high school senior and you take this exam and score poorly, you will have at least two more opportunities to take the SAT (in November and December) before running the risk of not attaining your desire SAT score before most college application deadlines.
Getting started means getting to know the SAT!
A lot of students tell me that they don’t begin preparing for the SAT early simply because they don’t know how to prepare for this kind of test. This makes sense. If you haven’t taken a review course, like Test Masters, in all likelihood you don’t even know what topics you are going to be tested on. Without this information, you literally can’t study for the SAT! If somebody asked me to study for a Math test without telling me the specific topics I would be tested on, I would have no idea where to begin either.
There are a lot of resources available to you to help you figure out exactly what you’ll be tested on. This website, for example, contains example problems, miscellaneous test info, and an Ask Test Masters feature for students with questions we haven’t already answered. Take advantage of these and similar resources to figure out exactly what you’ll be up against (a good place to start would be with this SAT Overview).
Get the right stuff!
Once you know a little more about the SAT, you can start to figure out exactly how you should spend your time preparing for it. One of the best ways to determine this is to take a practice test; in fact, if you have not already done so, you should immediately purchase The Official SAT Study Guide and Complete Solutions to the Official SAT Study Guide. The Official SAT Study Guide contains 10 practice tests that will help you figure your specific areas of weakness (and provide with lots of extra practice material) and the complete solutions guide will help make sure that you understand the mistakes you are making. Even if you are on a budget, these two resources are an absolute must for anyone preparing for the SAT.
This concludes our first post dedicated to you under-prepared students freaking out about the SAT.
Comment or Ask Test Masters if you have any questions!