How to Prepare For The SATs and PSATs

A student diligently takes a test. Licensed For Creative Commons

A student diligently takes a test. Licensed For Creative Commons

 Soon, April will bring an important but less-than-exciting event, the SATs and PSATs.

The week of April 12 to April 16 students who have not opted out will be spending a day or two on testing. Freshmen will be taking the PSAT on the 15th, sophomores will be taking it on the 14th, and juniors will be taking the SAT on the 13th and the CMAS on either the 12th or 16th, depending on students’ last name. Testing will take place in the mornings with there being no school in the afternoon, and there is no online alternative to the tests.

With these tests just about a month away, it’s important to many to know where to find the resources and strategies that can help get the highest score possible.

Khan Academy is a great place to start. Khan Academy is free and easy to use online and provides a lot of resources to help prepare for the SAT. On their website, there are various strategies, tips, and practice tests to use.

The main tip the site suggests is to utilize time by doing the easiest questions first, “During the first pass, don’t spend more than a minute or so on any question. If it’s going to take longer, put a big fat circle around it in your test booklet and skip it. Work steadily in this way until you reach the end of the group of questions.”

Another feature of Khan Academy is the ability to make custom study schedules to stay on track to be ready by the test day. These study schedules include tips, lessons, and practice tests. By taking a diagnostics test or linking a College Board account, the lessons can better focus on what needs to be improved on.

College Board is another good place to find useful resources. Assistant Principal Anna Keilman suggests making an account to practice for both the SATs and the AP exams later this year, “[Students] could also create a College Board account and do practice tests through their account to help them prepare for the types of questions they might see. I know there are prep classes available as well-College and Career might have more information on those.”

With a College Board account, students can link it to Khan Academy to get customized lessons as well as access lessons from AP teachers through AP Classroom, a College Board service. Similar to Khan Academy AP CLassroom provides practice tests and information on what to expect on the tests.

The final and one of the most important tips to remember is to not stress too much about the SATs. While doing well on these tests is important, it’s not something to go crazy over. Get some good rest the night before, eat a healthy breakfast, and good luck on test day Kadets!