Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

Let’s just get this out of the way: standardized testing is a drag, but it is required. So we pay for the study books, flash cards or tutoring sessions, hoping to score high enough on the tests to impress colleges.

And those who can not buy the extra tips and tricks get stuck with free online sources that are years old. So, let me put it this way: those high school english and math classes? Those are your tickets to pass. And unfortunately, you can’t finish those classes before you turn in college applications.

According to College Board, at least half of all students take their SAT’s twice. Once in the spring of their junior year, and once in the fall of their senior year.

If you can afford it, I’d suggest you take it the fall of both your junior and senior years. Once to acclimate yourself with the test, the second to actually receive a high score.

The SAT tests junior year content. Unfortunately not everything can be covered sufficiently, and the emphasis on certain topics depends on the school. Plus no matter what they say, senior year classes will help.

Junior year should be a time for learning the in’s and out’s of the test. If you take it during this year, do not worry about the outcome. Try to remember the style of the test. Look up beforehand the different types of essays or multiple choice online, different tips on time management during the test and what to do the night/morning before.

I could say do not worry about the content of the test, but I’m sure you would just ignore it. Don’t worry about the content? Isn’t that the whole point of the test? NOPE. The test is build for good test takers, time savers and quick thinkers. Yes, content is important, but most of it is given to you. Equations, prompts, texts. All you must do is apply those skills you learned throughout school and do the best that you can.

So junior year? Don’t sweat it. The first time you take it, you’re learning about yourself. Did you get tired or distracted in the middle of the test? Practice concentration (and maybe sleep at least nine hours the night before). Did you run out of time during the essay or part of the multiple choice? Practice going faster at home. Identify the things that slowed you down and work on going faster. You do not have to finish ever section to receive a good score.

Now, you’ve taken your first SAT test. Feeling accomplished? Remember all those bumps and slow downs during the test and keep working on them at home. Even ask your english or math teachers if they have practice books you can work on. The rest of your junior year, you should be soaking up all the tips and tricks and CONTENT you teachers are teaching. Even if a certain subject is not even on standardized testing, it can still be used for the test.

When you get your scores back, they could be high or lower than you expected. The good news? You have another chance.

Senior year. So close to being done with standardized testing, and yet so far. Use these last few months of math and english as review for the SAT’s. You are storing all the content teachers drone on and on about just for the essay portion. You are reviewing every single equation and story problem your teacher gives you.

And then finally, you will step into that testing room with no worries. You slept for nine hours straight, ate a good breakfast and replaced your batteries in your graphing calculator. You will ace this test like a boss because you know yourself. And you know all the strategies to beat this test.

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