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7 Tips to Prepare Your Teen for the SATs

Posted on the 03 August 2020 by Gaurav Kumar @vhowtodo

Preparing for the SATs can be an arduous and often stressful experience for a teen, especially when they consider how it may determine what colleges they can get into after high school.

It affects their future in a big way. This, coupled with the other requirements of high school, can be overwhelming for them.


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This is why it's important and helpful when a parent helps them with preparing for the SATs and provides them with the support they need.

Everyone wants to be a supportive parent, but how do you best prepare your teenage son or daughter for the SATs?

Preparing for the SATs: How You Can Help Your Teen

As mentioned, preparing for the SATs and college life, in general, can be stressful and difficult for your teenager. They may see it as one of the most crucial exams of their high school life.

With that said, here are some tips on how you can help them prepare for the SATs, get the best score they can, and get into a good college.

Encourage them to challenge themselves in school.

Before the test prep classes and books, the actual preparation begins when you encourage your child to enroll himself/herself in classes that will challenge them academically.

Considering that the SATs are meant to gauge what your child has learned in high school, it's best if they master the basics during high school.

Through this, they will be better equipped and prepared to handle the topics covered on college entrance exams like the SATs.

Help them familiarize themselves with the format of the exam.

Preparing for the exam also means becoming familiar with its format as this will help your child develop better test-taking strategies and feel more confident.

By developing better strategies, they can take the SATs with increased efficiency, especially important because these exams have a time limit.

You can use free materials and mock tests from top prep course companies such Princeton Review, Magoosh and Kaplan. Check the full list here.

Do your homework about how much the SATs count in their college of choice.

Important as the SATs may be for college admissions, not all universities base the admission of the student only on their test scores.

It's best if you help your child research how much the SATs weigh in terms of admission equirements for their college of choice.

Moreover, also do an in-depth search about which parts of the SATs they consider the most during the deliberation process.

Encourage them to deepen their knowledge of different topics through reading.

One of the most effective ways of gaining a deeper understanding of different topics and improving one's test-taking skills is through reading.

Aside from the fact that reading helps improve brain function, having fast reading skills can help your child analyze the text more quickly.

The more used they are to reading, the better chance of success for completing the SATs within the time limit provided.

Research well before paying for SAT preparation.

Considering that we all have different methods for learning, what works best for their peers may not work well for your child.

Keeping that in mind, you should do your research before enrolling them in SAT prep classes.

Otherwise, you might be just wasting valuable time and resources on something that ultimately won't help them.

That means considering your child's learning style before enrolling them in anything. Do they learn best in a classroom setting?

Or do they prefer learning at their own pace?

Maybe a private tutor would be more helpful than say, test preparation classes. They might get more out of video instruction than studying from a textbook.

Doing your research also involves researching the quality of the classes you want to enroll your child in. Expensive doesn't necessarily mean good quality.

These classes can be quite expensive, even more so when you opt for a private tutor.

Make the most out of the free resources available.

Even if your child decides to be enrolled in a class or hire a private tutor, it's best if you utilize all the available test prep materials you can get your hands on.

Luckily, with the existence of the internet, there are plenty of free test prep resources you can take advantage of.

By doing so, you reduce the cost of preparing for the exam - money that you can use to pay for their college tuition.

Create a timetable for the SATs.

High school students typically take the SAT during the latter part of their junior year but if you want to help your child prepare for the SAT, then it's best if you create a test timetable.

Scheduling when they take the SAT should give them adequate time to prepare for the exam while ensuring that the results will be available by the time college applications need to be sent out.

A timetable can also help them be more organized and allow them ample time to cover the topics they need to work on and familiarize themselves with the test.

Final Thoughts

With your help and support, as well as the aforementioned tips, your child can adequately prepare themselves for the SATs, something that can reduce the stress they might be feeling at this crucial time.

The SATs can be vital for determining whether or not your child gets into the college they prefer, especially considering the fierce competition nowadays for spots in good schools.

If you still have any question, do share via comments.

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