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SAT Preparation: Frequently Asked Questions About the Exam

By A Plus Program on 3 November 21 Blog

So, you’re thinking about registering for the SAT test? You probably have a ton of questions about what to expect and how to prepare to earn a high score.

OR, maybe you’ve taken it before and want to take it again to improve your SAT score? Don’t worry, in either case, we’re here to help.

In this guide, we’re going to break down everything you need to know about SAT preparation.

What is the SAT?

The SAT is a standardized test that is widely used for college admissions in the United States. It is offered to upper-level high school students who will be applying for college admission.

The most recent version of the SAT is a multiple-choice test that takes three hours and 50 minutes. The test covers math, reading, and writing, and it includes an optional essay section. You can find sample SAT questions here to learn more about the format of the test.

SAT test prep training

When Should I Start My SAT Preparation?

How far in advance you study for the SAT is up to you, but we recommend giving yourself at least three months to prepare. However, the more you study, the more prepared you will feel on test day.

Because the SAT is administered in the upper levels of high school, students should begin SAT preparation in the tenth grade. During the tenth grade, they can also take a practice SAT test, which is referred to as the PSAT.

Colleges do not see PSAT scores, so it’s a good way for students to get used to the testing environment and restrictions before taking the actual test.

Types of SAT Preparation

There are several ways to prepare yourself to take the SAT. One of the most popular options is an in-person SAT prep class offered by your school, some after school programs, or education enrichment centers. The benefit of in-person courses is that you have a teacher available to answer your questions and guide you through study sessions, as well as tailoring the instruction to your needs for the skills measured on the SAT.

Do SAT prep classes work? Yes, they do! For example, students who take the A+ Program SAT prep classes see a 100-250 point raise in their score. In these small classes, students study frequently-tested SAT vocabulary words, learn scoring strategies on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section, practice writing the SAT essay, and master complex math problems from algebra to pre-calculus. Students also learn time-management strategies to boost both test-taking efficiency and overall score.

Another SAT prep option is private one-on-one tutoring. Like a course, you will have a teacher who will work with you in person or online, but they can meet your specific needs even more since you are their only student.

The next popular SAT preparation option is an online program. These are typically self-paced and more affordable. However, you will not get the same level of motivation, encouragement and personal attention that in-person classes have to offer. Unless you are a highly motivated, self-directed person, this option will not work well for you.

Finally, you can purchase a self-guided study guidebook. You won’t have a teacher to help you, but if you are disciplined, you can still get a lot of studying done. This is the least expensive option, as the books cost up to $50, but also the least effective option.

What is the Best SAT Prep Course to Take?

In our opinion, in-person SAT prep courses are best because you get to work with a teacher and learn with other students. The ongoing feedback and tailored instruction make the course worth it, and it will result in a higher SAT score.

Does online SAT prep help? Yes, they can be helpful to develop a routine to strengthen skills daily, but the best option Is an in-person live SAT prep course.

What is a Good SAT Score?

Colleges and universities have different scores that they are looking for, but in general, you can look at the national average score to determine what counts as a “good” score.

In 2021, the national average SAT score is 1051. If you get a score around that number, which is the 50th percentile, your score is average. If you get a score between 1200 – 1210, which is the 75th percentile, you have a good score. An excellent score is 1350, which is in the 90th percentile.  Students at ASC A+ Program have achieved scores like 1590, 1520, 1510, 1480, 1470, 1440, and 1420! Such scores are a great help for application to top colleges.

What is the Difference Between the SAT and ACT, and Which One Do Colleges Prefer?

The main difference between the SAT and ACT are the subjects they cover and how they are each scored. As we mentioned above, the SAT includes reading, writing, and math, with an optional essay. The ACT adds science, which makes the test take longer.

The math section of the SAT goes through trigonometry and statistics, while the ACT just goes through trigonometry. However, the SAT provides math formulas and the ACT does not.

The SAT is scored from 400-1600, while the ACT is scored from 1-36.

All colleges in the United States accept either the SAT or the ACT, and there is no preference towards one or the other. Many students choose to take both, or they take the one they think they will score better on.

Sign Up for SAT Preparation in Boston

No matter what kind of SAT preparation you end up choosing, we recommend prepping as much as you can, as early as you can. It’s also a good idea to take SAT practice tests to get used to the format and the timing. The more you prepare, the better you will score and the more likely you will get admitted into your dream college.

At the A+ Program, we offer top-notch SAT preparation courses in Boston, Massachusetts. Our class sizes are small, and our experienced teachers provide personal attention to every student.

The A+ Program SAT prep curriculum includes vocabulary words, essay techniques, practice math problems, time management training, and more. Students also take diagnostics tests before and after the nine-week program to identify their areas of strength and weaknesses, and to measure improvement.  Compared to other SAT test prep courses, we offer almost DOUBLE the class time for a lower price.

Your child has only one opportunity to get into the best college. Help them put their best foot forward. Help them get the best SAT score they can. Sign up for the A+ program SAT prep course today, or fill out the contact form below:

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