The SAT is a big moment in a teenager’s life, and it is important to be well prepared for it to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. Ensuring that your child devotes enough time to study, has all the supplies they need for the exam, and feels relaxed and confident come test day are all important to their success.
Curious about how your child can go about preparing for the SAT? Here are four essential things to do to plan ahead, reduce stress, and get in the frame of mind necessary for a great result.
Distractions are the enemy of productivity, which is why it’s important to eliminate as many as possible from your child’s study space at home. A good study space is quiet, away from people or animals who might disturb your young scholar, and preferably doesn’t present too much temptation to avoid doing work. For example, it’s not a great idea to have a TV nearby.
It’s also important to note that while computers and phones can be great study tools, granting easy access to study guides, practice tests, and other useful material, they can present a particular risk for distraction. If your child plans on using one of these devices, consider having them use software like FocusMe to block distracting websites. This can be a great way to put temptation out of arm’s reach and encourage deep studying and learning.
Being relaxed and happy heading into the SAT can help your child stay focused, calm, and efficient, which is why it’s valuable for your child to enjoy themselves a bit prior to the exam. Because of ongoing classes, students will likely be doing their SAT prep in the evening or on weekends, but this shouldn’t be all they do during those periods.
Encourage them to take occasional study breaks, or even to get out of the house to see a movie for an afternoon. Working too many hours has been shown not to have much benefit for productivity, so it’s likely better to put some of that extra time toward improving wellbeing instead.
In the weeks prior to the SAT, taking the time to ensure your child has everything they will need on test day is a simple trick for getting mentally ready for the exam, and to make sure there’s no last-minute rush for a missing pencil.
Here’s a quick list of supplies that your child should have ready to go on SAT day:
It’s also important to make sure your child knows not to bring notes or any technology other than their calculator.
A study plan can provide a tremendous amount of added value to a child’s SAT preparation, allowing them to manage their schedule better and greatly reducing the pressure they are under. This does not need to be anything too complicated. Just have your child outline specific days for studying specific subjects, and mark out a few different days that will be reserved for taking practice tests.
Spacing out learning like this is a great way to avoid overloading on study before the exam, and can make it easier to focus on individual sections. For example, when your child knows a specific day is for working on math, there no need to think about writing that day, and they can devote their full attention where it is needed. Take this approach during the weeks leading to the exam and see how well it works to reduce stress and make it easier for your child to stay on track.
For the best results, try to identify specific areas where your child needs to improve, and devote special attention to them in the plan you create. Students in our nine-week SAT preparation program at ASC A+, for example, complete diagnostic tests at both the start and end of the program which provide them with insights into their specific strengths and weaknesses.
With assistance from encouraging and knowledgeable instructors, they can then create a well-structured, balanced study program that will help them to work towards their goals. Tailored towards students in grades 10 and 11, the next session of this program will run from November 11th to January 27th, and is perfect for any child looking to develop a sound long-term SAT preparation strategy.
For grade 12 students who want to step up their study plan during the weeks leading up to the exam, evening intensive SAT prep classes could also be an option. During this three-week program, students learn essential test-taking strategies, practice every section of the test, and get the chance to do even more focused work on core content areas, providing a much needed final boost to their preparations before test day.
Is your child taking the SAT this month?
ASC A+ is offering intensive SAT test preparation in Boston from November 14th to November 30th. Contact us today to ensure you don’t miss out!