College prep: SATs 101

Posted by Natalie Martin on Oct 19, 2016 9:36:40 AM

Let’s face it, the SATs are an extremely important piece to a student’s college application. It SAT-scantron.jpgseems silly that a test score could be the deciding factor if you get into your dream school or not. The 
best way to avoid a rejection letter due to
low SAT scores is to fully prepare yourself for this exam. Now, that’s no easy task. The SATs are something all students should take very seriously, but don't let it consume every second of your life – you are a teenager after all. We comprised a list of how to better prepare yourself for test day. 

1. Get SAT prep books – and actually utilize them

SAT books are phenomenal tools that can easily be overlooked. There are many lists floating around the internet claiming which books are the “best”, however check out this site for a complied list of great books that help with prepping, improving on certain sections and scoring higher in general. Just a reminder, you have to actually sift through the pages of the book for it to help. Simply having it on your bookshelf collecting dust or cramming it the night before does not work.

2. Practice, practice, practice

There are limitless practice tests that can be found on the Internet, from teachers, or in SAT prep books. Use these to your complete advantage. SAT tutors suggests students should take between three and five mock exams before the actual test. This will give you a chance to sit down and time yourself for each section. You can then analyze areas that need improvement. Another tip to keep in mind is to spread these tests over a couple of months so you can see improvement and progression. Cramming in practice tests one week before will not give you enough time to learn from mistakes.

3. Focus on both knowledge and speed

Since the SATs are timed, every minute is precious. Deciding which questions to skip or answer due to time and knowledge of the topic is ultimately up to you. However, in your practice exams note how long certain problems take you. Step back and reexamine the method you’re using to solve the question. Is there a better way to attack the problem? In most circumstances, there is mostly likely a more efficient solution.

 4. Enroll in JKCP’s Enrichment Program SAT/ACT Courses at Villanova University

Here at JKCP, we understand the importance of these exams. That’s why we offer a summer crash course preparing you for when test day comes. We’ve found the best tutors to help you grasp the material and apply it. The tutors will give you useful tips and tricks for conquering each section. Enroll yourself today!

 5. Get a good night of sleep

This tip is an obvious one, however, many students overlook this critical step. Getting a full amount of sleep is SO IMPORTANT. The brain needs enough energy to perform on the big day. The night before the exam, limit your access to TV and smartphone screens about 2-3 hours before going to sleep. Brightly lit screens trick your brain into thinking it is still light outside, which will prevent you from falling asleep on time. Also, the night before, put away all the books and study-aids. Cramming will not help and you’ll wind up stressing yourself out more. 

The SATs are overwhelming, but getting ahead is the best way to ensure success. Don’t forget you can retake the test as many times as you want, just give yourself enough time between each test and keep in mind college application deadlines. Yes, the SATs are hard and important, however, they do not define you as an individual. Some students are not great test takers and that’s okay. Do not worry yourself sick over one exam. Prepare yourself and you will do your best. Happy test taking!

Photo Credit: Diablo Magazine

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Topics: High School Summer Programs, JKCP News & Updates, Pre-Professional Programs

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