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Top 5 Steps to Smarter SAT Prep

The most frequent mistake made by people preparing to take the SAT—afternot studying enough—is studying in a sloppy, haphazard manner. The morecare you take in the early stages of your preparation for the SAT test,the better the end result. Set demanding yet reasonable goals for yourSAT experience, then summon the necessary self-discipline to follow through.

1. ASSEMBLING YOUR MATERIALS

An informed approach to SAT preparation begins with checking theCollege Board’s website (www.collegeboard.com) for testing dates,locations and registration procedures. After that, you should buy (orborrow from a library or friend) an SAT test prep book. You’ll also wantto have an appropriate calculator, a notebook, plenty of paper andwriting utensils, and a space (or two) conducive to concentrated study.

2. DIAGNOSIS & PRESCRIPTION

Using both your SAT prep book and the materials available at SatPrep Plan (www.satprepplan.com), assess your strengths andweaknesses. Then set your goals (one of which should be a deepfamiliarity with the SAT test’s overall structure, types of questions,and directions), and design a study plan that best fits your situation.These first two steps should be completed as quickly as possible inorder to allow the maximum time for actual SAT preparation.

3. GOING SOLO VS. TEAMING UP

Deciding which resources to use, and in what combination, marks acritical step in your SAT preparation agenda. A number of prominentcompanies offer comprehensive SAT test prep courses, but they may notfit your budget, schedule, or study needs. In addition to consulting theresources provided at http://www.satprepplan.com, you should considerthe value of teaming up with a friend or two (often, having partners inany long-term, strenuous activity keeps everyone’s momentum going),and/or hiring an SAT tutor.

4. A MATTER OF TIME

Taking into account the SAT test dates you found in Step 1 andyour other commitments, map out a weekly study schedule. You might findit helpful to alternate between working on sections of the SAT test, aswell as between material that’s easier and harder for you. Set periodicdeadlines for achieving your goals, but bear in mind that you may needto adjust them. Also note that a smaller number of long study sessionsare less helpful than a greater number of shorter ones. Finally, payspecial attention to how you’ll prepare during the week of the SAT testitself.

5. HELP ON A BUDGET

The SAT test is expensive enough. It doesn’t take a great deal oftime or effort to maximize your SAT preparation dollar. For example,websites like http://www.satprepplan.com offer a variety of resources atno charge. With so many students taking the SAT test each year, itshouldn’t be too difficult to locate used (but recent) versions of SATprep books. You can also make your own flash cards, take several freeSAT practice tests, and register to have the College Board’s SAT“question of the day” sent to you via email – all at little or no cost.

Submitted by:

Bruce Smith

Bruce L. Smith is an experienced SAT test prep coach. For SAT test preparation and SAT practice problems visit http://www.satpprepplan.com.





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