I was half-listening to the news a few days ago when I heard a story about three high school students who recently made a perfect score on their SAT: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/3-Students-From-Same-HS-With-Perfect-SAT-Score-189462001.html. This sparked my interest because a perfect score is uncommon, (only 360 last year), but in addition, all of these students went to the same school in Montgomery County. These kids had something else unusual in common as well. They all spent years studying and preparing for the SAT. As one student, Benjamin She said, "Taking a standardized test like the SAT is just like doing a skill like poker. It's all about what you need to do to analyze the questions." Even if it is not your child's goal to make a perfect score, this is good advice. Making a high score on the SAT has a lot to do with skills and strategies that can be learned, and the more time that you have to practice, the better.
The season for taking the SAT test is fast approaching, and preparations should start now. Many students wait until a month before the test to prepare, severely limiting their ability to make significant progress. However, adequately preparing for arguably the most important test your student has taken thus far takes time. Most students take the SAT at least two times: in the spring as a junior (January, March, or May) and in the fall as a senior (October or November). It is a good idea to have your student take the SAT test as a senior, if they did not take the test twice as a junior, because most students improve their score the second time around, according to the College Board (the folks who administer the SAT test). Some students may even want to consider taking the SAT test a third time if more score improvement is needed. However, it is unlikely that a student will see a difference in their score unless they change the way that they prepare by studying daily, seeking out tutoring, or enrolling in an SAT prep program.
In my next blog, I'll address how the test is scored and share some valuable strategies for successful test-taking. In the meantime, please share any comments you may have or helpful strategies for the SAT, below. I look forward to hearing from you! Please visit our website for more
information about the SAT or to attend a free SAT information session: www.parrishlearningzone.com.
Nina Parrish, M.Ed.
Parrish Learning Zone, LLC
Some information for this article was obtained from Kaplan SAT Strategies, Practice, and Review 2012. The information provided on the College Board Website was also used as a resource.