The time has finally come.
The New SAT is right around the corner.
Is your child ready?
Hopefully, for students taking the NEW SAT in March, they are already knee deep in prep and just counting down the days before "conquering the beast."
However, for students who aren't feeling quite so confident, Coach Ben Flores put together 8 last minute strategies to help them get ready for the big day.
1. Use elimination strategies
The process of elimination is actually a wonderful thing in standardized testing. Students should do practice questions—in any subject—and focus on practicing elimination strategies. Can your child answer a question simply by eliminating three wrong answer choices? This is a viable tactic to be used when taking the test.
2. Be realistic
Students who "know what they don't know" will avoid pain and frustration on test day when staring down questions that look like they were written in a foreign language.
To be able to recognize questions that might give a student trouble, have them go through a practice test and look at, for instance, the last 20 math questions. Setting a timer, have them go through each problem and ask two questions before actually solving the problem.
- Do I know what I'm being asked?
- Do I know my first step in solving this problem?
If the answer isn't "yes" to both, circle it, and skip to the next one.
Students should only answer the problems they know how to do. Then they can come back and re-read the question. If the answer is still "no," they should take a guess, since incorrect answers aren't penalized on the New SAT.
Check how many questions they got right and how long it took. Repeat this with another test. Each time, they are trying to improve either time or accuracy.
3. Solve math problems without a calculator
It seems like the math section with no calculator on the NEW SAT might be challenging, so to make sure your child is ready, have them refrain from using a calculator (if possible) when doing their school math homework or when practicing problems for the SAT.
4. Practice grammar questions
If grammar is an issue, students should focus their prep time on these questions on either the NEW SAT practice tests or in any of the ACT practice tests, which share a similar format.
5. Read passages and cite the evidence
Students should go through practice SAT/NEW SAT/ACT tests and underline the evidence in the text to support each answer they choose. This will be helpful preparation for the “citing evidence” questions on each NEW SAT reading passage.
6. Brush up on basic trig functions
Even though there will be a variety of trigonometry questions on the NEW SAT, students shouldn't forget the basics. Sine, cosine, tangent? Make sure SOH CAH TOA is ingrained in your child's brain because those types of questions are likely to show up.
7. Decipher graphs and scatter plots
If your child has trouble interpreting the data in graphs and scatter plots, they're not alone. To improve in this area, have them go through old and new practice tests and just focus on these types of questions (look for any math questions with a table or graph).
8. Learn how to skim
When practicing reading passages, students shouldn't read the whole thing at first. They should try reading the first paragraph, skimming the middle, and reading the last paragraph. This will help them move through the reading passages a little quicker so they won't run out of time on test day.