How to Prepare for the SATs

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Taking the SATs can be stressful for any student. This article discusses how to prepare for these standardized tests.
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Preparing for the SAT

Taking the SAT can be one of the most stressful experiences a high school student endures. It can feel like your whole educational career will be determined by these tests. If you're planning to continue your education at a college or university, taking a standardized test is inevitable. The SATs are among the most popular. In order to feel confident taking these tests, you need to prepare. Below is information on two options for preparing for the big test.

Taking an SAT Prep Class

There are many different companies that provide SAT prep classes for students. Some tutoring centers, such as Sylvan, provide classes for the SAT I. One of the most popular SAT courses is offered by the Princeton Review (www.princetonreview.com). They offer SAT I and SAT II courses. The length and the type of material covered by the courses vary depending on the program. Some companies provide weekend courses that last for several hours. Others have classes that meet regularly three or more times a week for one or two hours at a time. Classes can work well for those who enjoy working with other students. These classes are often led by one or two teachers or tutors. Students often use workbooks or take practice tests familiarize themselves with the format and material covered in the SATs. One drawback is the price of these courses, as they can cost hundreds of dollars.

Do It Yourself

If you don't feel comfortable with taking classes, don't have the time or find them too expensive, don't be discouraged. You can study on your own or organize a study group with your friends. Some high schools even provide after-school classes led by teachers who are willing to take the extra time to help students prepare for your SATs.

If you prefer to study on your own, you can try going to your local library or to a bookstore. Many bookstores have whole shelves dedicated to SAT preparation guidebooks and workbooks. Make sure you find books that cover the all materials found on the SATs. For example, the SAT I includes sections on writing, math and critical reading.

You can find online resources as well, like Spark Notes at www.sparknotes.com, or go to any local store that carries various types of software. Many software companies have developed software that simulates the test environment by timing students. These materials are somewhat expensive, but not nearly as expensive as courses. Try to find materials that work well with how you learn. For instance, if you're a visual learner, try to use media that will accommodate this style.

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Georgetown University

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