With the weather getting brighter and warmer, it’s tempting to take more precedence in enjoying the weather over clocking in hours to prepare for the SAT.
Preparing for the SAT can be nerve-wracking. You’re expected to concentrate for hours on end and perform well enough to get into your dream school. But this entire process doesn’t have to be so stressful. It just takes a little creativity and discipline to implement basic SAT prep principles into your beach days and sun-filled outings.
1. Start a Calendar and Mark the Days You’ll Take a Practice Test
How can you be sure to go hang out with friends, earn money at a summer job, and still get to study for the SAT? Decide how many hours you want to spend each week on the practice test and spread out those appointments on your calendar. Practice tests are important because it’s the one of the best ways to prepare you for the SAT. Practice tests will help you feel more comfortable with the test form, and help you build endurance for the actual test.
2. Pick Prime Locations You’d Like to Study for the SAT
Bring your SAT prep book to a peaceful park, beach setting, or a coffee shop. The purpose is to make taking practice tests not as dreadful. Be sure to time yourself when you take a practice test. The goal is to get acquainted with the feel of the test so your test-taking abilities are not exhausted during the SAT.
3. Get Acquainted With the Test Structure on Your Bus Ride to Work
You may already hate the idea of needing to carve out time to sit down and read those SAT prep books, so why force yourself to study that way? If you take the bus to work, or you’re on a long car ride to your favorite aunt’s house, listen to a podcast or watch a video of an expert explaining the SAT.
Most SAT questions are in ascending order of difficulty. If you spend less time on the beginning questions, you will have more time for the difficult questions. But you wouldn’t know that unless you take the time to read on these kinds of strategies and more.
4. Download an SAT App to Help You Memorize Vocabulary and Math Formulas
You can memorize vocabulary words and get familiar with mathematical formulas thanks to your smartphone. Although the SAT gives you formulas during the test, it is important to memorize these formulas before testing day so that you’re using as little time as possible referencing the formula sheet and more time focusing on answering questions correctly.
A good way to remember SAT words is to incorporate them into your vocabulary. You might impress your crush or give yourself a professional edge at your summer job.
5. Take 5 to 10 Minutes Before Bed to Read Stuff That Isn’t Interesting to You
There’s no guarantee that you’ll read things on the SAT that’s interesting to you. To prep for this, read material that is not interesting to you. Even better, do this before you go to bed. Typically, experts advise that you don’t read entertaining books before bed since it can keep you up, but what if you read something that wasn’t entirely entertaining that won’t disturb your sleep? If you find history boring, find articles that examine events in history and in return, you’ll ease right into sleep, thereby recharging your brain for another fun-filled day. Over time, you’ll be able to focus better when less engaging passages on the SAT come your way.
6. Use Up Some of Your Quiet Days to Write Practice Essays
Take some quiet time on a Sunday morning, and get in some writing. You’ll increase your chances of a good essay score the more you practice writing essays. This practice familiarizes you with the essay time frame and the essay structure.
The essay should have a clear and concise thesis. SAT graders are not expecting you to write a perfect essay, but they do expect to read a coherent essay. They want to see examples from history, current events, or personal experience that support your thesis, and a conclusion that restates your argument.
All of these tips may seem like an overwhelming amount of prep work, but you’ll be surprised how much studying and practice you can get done when you incorporate small chunks of studying throughout the spring and summer. Not only will you learn how to manage time effectively without it feeling stressful, but you will feel at ease when testing day arrives.
Hall, C. (n.d.) The Knewton Blog. Top 10 Ways to Prepare for the SAT Comments. Retrieved from The Knewton Blog.
Demler, R. (2014, January 1). Ten Tips for Improving Your SAT Score. Retrieved from Ronnie E. Demler, Professional SAT Coach.
Belsky, G. (2008, May 7). What Not to Do at Bedtime: 6 Bad Behaviors That Can Steal Your Sleep. Health.com. Retrieved from Health.com.