SAT Tip #1: Before taking the Test: Know the SAT and Your Strengths & Weaknesses Before Taking Lessons
Before you even begin your study of SAT, know the structure and types of questions of the SAT test. If you have a good knowledge of the SAT test before you begin lessons, you will find it easier to work with a tutor to plan a course that targets your needs better. Having to spend time learning about the test can be costly and time wasting. I do not usually make overly prescriptive advice about study processes but in general I would recommend the following general process:
1. Take notes on the parts of the test, types of question and the time involved. Look at the amount of time you are given for each section. Ask questions on google that more experienced test takers might be able to answer. For example if you ask “Which part is hardest on the SAT exam” Google comes back with some interesting replies just as a search asking “Which part of the SAT is most important”? gives informative answers
2. Test yourself with a practice test. Start with the SAT exam page and look at the SAT practice of reading, writing and verbal sections. Do one under time with no distractions.
3. Note which parts that you found difficult. Which questions – for example, in the reading section did you find the paired reading more difficult than the single passage ones, did you find the vocabulary term questions in the reading easier or harder than the gist questions? Was it a time management problem? What was confusing to you? – was it the vocabulary, instructions or grammar sturctures?
4. Discuss your discoveries with a tutor and make it part of the plan. If your tutor knows your concerns and particular areas that need to be in balance, a better program can be developed
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Nevin Blumer (MA Applied Linguistics, BEd, TESL DIpl) is the TPS Director and instructor for SAT for over 20 years.