How to Best Prepare Your Teen for the SAT
Before attending a university or college, your child needs to take a standardized admission test called the SAT.
It’s an examination that covers and assesses your child’s clarity of expression, computational ability, reading comprehension, and other key skills.
For most universities and colleges, they use SAT as one of the factors to determine whether or not to accept a student.
Moreover, universities have their ideal SAT scores to which applicants need to measure up.
For instance, an SAT score of 1500 and above is what your child needs to get a chance of getting into a top-tier school.
That being said, as a parent or guardian, you can help prepare your teen for the SAT by following the steps below.
1. Get Your Teen Familiarized with the Different Parts of the Test
Your child may already know what the SAT is and what it’s for, but your teen may not really know about what it covers.
Getting your child acquainted with the various segments of the test lets your teen set his or her expectations.
One way of doing that is through tests like PSAT or Preliminary SAT.
PSAT can be a good practice test as it has similar questions and formats as the SAT.
Taking this exam and getting their scores, will give your child an idea of which areas he or she needs to study more for.
For instance, through this type of test, your teen will realize that he or she needs to hone his or her mathematical skills.
If he or she gets a low score in Math on PSAT, your child should practice more with approved calculators to help them solve mathematical problems quickly.
Yes, you read that right.
Your child can use calculators during SAT on the longer and second section of Math. But, your child should only use calculators that The College Board allows.
Usually, your teen can bring and use calculators like all-four function calculators, scientific calculators, and graphing calculators.
2. Encourage Your Child To Study Specific Subject Tests
By knowing how the SAT goes, your child will be able to know what areas of the different subjects he or she should focus on.
Since your teen already has an idea which areas can be difficult, your child will know the ones to prioritize.
But, before studying or focusing on a specific subject test, help your child have a goal.
Let your child choose what university and course to take so that they will know what particular subjects to master.
One of the factors teens should consider when choosing what course to take is what type of job or career they want in the future.
Most universities require applicants to take one or two subject tests. So, your child will not end up reviewing the wrong one.
Here’s a list of SAT Subject Tests that your child can choose to focus on:
- Science – consists of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology E/M
- Mathematics – has two levels: Mathematics Level 1 and 2
- Languages – This part includes languages like Modern Hebrew, Latin, Italian, German, Spanish, and French. Language tests like Spanish, Korean, Japanese, German, French, and Chinese include the Listening part.
- History – includes World and US History
- English – This specific test focuses on Literature.
3. Let Your Teen Retake Free Test Preps
If you want your teen to assess how effective their study sessions have been after initially taking the exam, encourage your child to give it another try.
Alongside dedicated prep courses, a lot of test preps are free and available online, anyway.
Some online academies have partnered with The College Board, so it’s guaranteed that they have high-quality test prep resources.
Your child needs these types of resources so they can get a real feel of how the SAT is like.
Also, registering your teen for online courses gives them access to video lessons, apps, and other free resources.
This can help your child improve his or her skills in different subject tests.
4. Enroll Your Child In Challenging Courses
Although some teens will not enjoy using their free time to take on tricky courses, explain to your child how challenging courses can be of great help to them.
Although these courses aren’t mandatory, they can help your child in many ways.
When you show them the advantages of taking challenging courses, you might just convince them to give one a shot.
Here are the advantages of taking challenging courses that you may discuss with your teen:
- Let them know that taking challenging courses while in high school adds up to his or her credentials. Most colleges or universities take into consideration your child’s transcript of records. Once they see that your child has taken challenging courses, your teen will have better chances of getting into a university.
- Let them know that taking challenging courses can reflect his or her capacity to contribute something to the intellectual community of the university. Most academic institutions see applicants who have taken challenging courses as students who can contribute more to their goals.
- Encourage your child by telling them that challenging courses can stimulate his or her mental health as well. Since they already have a glimpse of how college or university classes work, it will push them to study even harder.
Are you ready?
As a parent, you should also involve yourself in your child’s SAT. You can do so by helping in your teen’s SAT preparation.
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By following the SAT preparation tips above, you might help your child pass or even ace the SAT.
Now, that is what it is all about, right?
Have you ever helped a teen prepare for the SAT?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela and partner and best friend to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.