You need to prepare for the SAT. But it is actually a very easy process. Unlike a midterm or final exam in school, a lot of studying is not really required for the SAT test itself. The exception to this is the SAT Subject Tests, which do focus on particular subjects like science, mathematics,, history, and language.
Although not a lot of studying is required for the general SAT Test, there are some prep steps you should take. This is mostly looking over your school notes and taking an SAT Prep class. So, what sections should you focus on?
As you already know, the SAT is divided into three main sections- reading, writing, and mathematics. Each section has sub sections inside. For example, the mathematics section has multiple choice questions and written answers. The writing section of the test is an essay, and is also a multiple-choice question section that focuses on identifying sentence errors, sentence improvement, improving paragraphs.
For most students, the mathematics section is the most challenging. Lets focus on this section first. To prepare for the math section of the SAT, review your class notes. You don’t need to memorize common mathematics formulas as many of these formulas will be printed in the SAT test book. But, you do need to know which formula to use and how to use it.
It addition to reviewing your math notes, do a few practice questions. Remember to focus on your weaknesses. What types of math problems always give you a hard time? Do a bunch of practice questions to find out.
The writing section of the SAT is the other major area that students struggle with. If you did reasonably well in school, there isn’t much studying that you can do- the SAT test is really a recap of the stuff you should already know. Be sure to flip through all English notes on grammar. By familiarizing yourself with common word errors, like ‘affect vs effect’, comma use, run-on sentences, and sentence structure as a whole, you can do well on this section.
The written essay does not account for a large portion of your SAT test score, and many students find it the easiest. If you are nervous, take a deep breath and just write a standard 5 paragraph essay. By reviewing the writing multiple-choice questions, you have already reviewed grammar and sentence structure. Now, just focus on the main elements of an essay. A good essay has a two to three sentence introduction, a similar conclusion paragraph, and three body paragraphs.
For the essay portion of the SAT, you will get a topic to write on and support your views with real-life, observations, readings, experiences and studies. In the first introduction paragraph, state your stance. For the three body paragraphs, develop three reasons for your opinion. Use each paragraph to go detail your opinion. For the conclusion, just restate your stance and a few highlights from your essay.
A good mantra is this: Tell ’em what you’re going to say, Say It, then Tell ’em what you Said.
To prepare for the reading section of the SAT, study your vocabulary words and English vocabulary books to review. The critical reading section of the SAT gauges your understanding of vocabulary and reading comprehension. Basically, the test is seeking to measure your ability to read and retain information- the essence of learning. Review word choices, grammar, and sentence structure from your English notes to prepare. In the test, take your time, review each sentence, and you will do fine.
In summary, the SAT covers the subjects you are learning in school. The good news is that this is fresh in your mind. Really, most students do not need weeks or months of studying. A good SAT Prep class will refresh your memory of your math and English notes and you should do well on the SAT.