Ahhhh, summer. It’s a time to earn some extra cash. Take a road trip. Prepare for the SAT.
Wait. Prepare for the SAT?
Yep. It’s the perfect time! In the summer you can concentrate on preparing for the SAT without the stress of schoolwork and college applications.
Every student is unique. When you prepare for the SAT, make sure you take a track that is right for you.
If vocabulary is your weakness, study word lists and make a special effort to read good books. If math is your problem, review the basic math concepts you’ll need to know for the SAT.
In any case, get started studying for the SAT exam early and take advantage of the free time you have right now.
Here are 5 tips to help you get started:
1. Buy a Practice Book.
An SAT practice book is a worthwhile investment. These generally include lists of vocabulary words and math concepts you are likely to see on the test, SAT practice problems with answers and explanations, and at least one full-length practice test. If you can’t afford a formal prep course or a private tutor, going through SAT books and doing as many practice problems as possible will help you prepare for the SAT on your own.
2. Boost Your Vocabulary.
Increasing your vocabulary is one thing that can help you score higher on the SAT. Most practice books include vocabulary lists of frequently used SAT words. Reading will improve both vocabulary and reading comprehension skills. Study a little every day, challenge yourself with difficult reading, and look up words you don’t know.
3. Study Math Skills.
Math on the SAT will include concepts such as word problems, algebra and geometry. Most SAT prep books provide an index of math skills that the SAT includes. These are all things that you should have learned in school, so odds are you won’t have to learn new concepts. Just make sure to review math concepts you may have forgotten as you prepare for the SAT.
4. Take a Prep Class.
If you are having trouble studying on your own as you prepare for the SAT, consider taking a formal SAT prep class. Most SAT prep classes meet once or twice a week and include practice problems for homework. You’ll be assigned vocabulary words to learn, review math concepts in class, and you may also get the chance to take an in-class practice test.
Pro Tip: Your high school or local public library may offer an SAT prep class for much less money than a private course. Ask your guidance counselor!
5. Get a Private Tutor.
If you are particularly weak in a certain area, a private tutor may provide individual specialized attention you can’t get in a group class. For example, if you discover you never mastered the math skills tested on the SAT, a private tutor can help you. You’ll have a better idea of whether a tutor is necessary after you have already begun to prepare for the SAT and have found your weaknesses.
Think You Don’t Need to Study?
Even if you got a killer score on the PSAT and don’t think you need to prepare for the SAT over the summer, don’t neglect SAT studying! You want to keep your brain sharp over the summer months. You also may want to consider taking one or more SAT II subject tests, which you also can start studying for.
College testing is an important part of the admissions process, and the summer is the ideal time to begin to prepare for the SAT.