How to Study for the SAT

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Studying for the SAT can be done by either taking an SAT prep course, getting a private tutor or simply buying a test prep book, but taking several practice tests is the best way to be familiar with the test content. Prepare for the SAT to raise scores with information from a standardized test prep instructor in this free video on education.

Part of the Video Series: Education: English, Math & Teaching
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Video Transcript

So can you study for the SAT? That's a big question that people ask. Some people say that you can't, you can't prepare for it. You actually definitely can prepare for the SAT, no question, it definitely does help. Now interestingly enough, just retaking the SAT, studies show that your scores will go up just retaking it even if you haven't prepared. But I find, for sure, that if you prepare for the SAT, absolutely your score goes up, and there's a couple reasons. One, you get more comfortable with what's on it, I mean that just makes sense. If you practice your basketball shot it gets better, no question. But also, the reason you can prepare and the reason it will improve is because we can sort of predict what's going to be on the test. The various sections are Math, Reading, Writing, and then the Essay which is part of the Writing score or Writing section. What's on the Math, a lot of times people think there's no way you can prep, but it turns out that what's on the Math sections of the SAT is kind of predictable. You'd think, "well, it could be anything from my sixteen years of school", or whatever, but it turns out that there are pretty predictable things that come up on the test. And you can either do a course, or have a private tutor, or just buy a book. Most books out there will isolate what's going to be on the test. I have to recommend my book, of course, but lots of good books will recommend what's going to be on the test. Reading, now Reading's not exactly the same as Math in the sense that we can't say "these are the Math concepts that will be tested", the passage could be on anything. But it turns out that there are definitely ways to prepare, or definitely ways to go about doing the Reading section. I have a clip actually that you can find that will actually talk specifically about the Reading section, so you can go see that clip if that's a question you have. Then the Writing, again, Writing is just like Math, you think it could cover all of grammar, Writing's really about grammar on the SAT. You think it could cover all of grammar, but it turns out that there's, I find there's really about twelve or fifteen things that you can learn or review, go over, practice and drill that really comprise the SAT Writing section. And if you get better at those, your score goes up. You also get better at the way they ask the questions, your score goes up. So practicing really helps. And finally the Essay, definitely practicing the Essay helps. Number one because we know what they're looking for. If you don't know what they're looking for it's hard to do what they want. But it turns out there are very specific things that the SAT is looking for, so if you meet those criteria, your score goes up. And a lot of kids are worrying about freezing. They give you a topic, will you think of stuff to write about? If you drill and drill and drill, practice a bunch of essay topics, practice coming up with topics, eventually you get better at it, you get more comfortable with it, and most importantly, when the test comes you'll just trust that you're going to get an Essay topic and you will come up with things to write about, because you have, in the five or six or seven practice essays you did. So going in with that comfort will help a lot too. So that's the way that your score can increase on the Math, Reading, Writing and Essay sections.


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