7 SAT Strategies for Helping Your Teen Ace the Test

Your teen is likely stressing out about the SAT. As a parent, you want to help him out. But what can you do? We’ve compiled 7 SAT strategies to help your teen prepare for the exam.

SAT Strategies
Image Source: Stewart Black

A Quick List of SAT Strategies:

Start Early. As with any other test, you can’t expect to crack open the books the night before the test and do well. However, this is even more relevant to taking the SAT. Encourage your teen to begin studying and taking practice tests early.

Use SAT Vocabulary. Pull up a list of the most common words that appear on the SAT and use them around your teen. Pick a “word of the day” and encourage her to use it in a sentence.

Simulate Test Day. When your teen is set to take a practice test, create an environment that mimics test day. This means no cell phones or music and using only the test booklet for answers. Stick to the prescribed time limits as well.

Keep a Schedule. Once your teen selects a test date for the SAT, help him create a test prep plan. This should include a schedule of when he’ll study and what he’ll cover during each session. Practice tests and the PSAT should be taken into consideration as well.

Relaxation Reminders. Being in high school is hard enough. Throw in SAT prep and it might all be a little overwhelming for your teen. If she’s seeming stressed out, encourage breaks and remind her that wearing herself out won’t lead to a better score. It’ll only lead to burnout.

Practice Essay Writing. More and more research is showing that longer essays get better scores on the written portion of the SAT. When taking practice tests, encourage your teen to use as much of the allotted space as possible without exceeding it.

Keep Things in Perspective. The SAT is important but it’s not everything. Other factors are weighed for college admissions. If any of these SAT strategies seem to be getting in the way of your teen eating well, getting exercise, and getting enough sleep, dial it back a bit.

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