Now is the time I receive a lot of questions from prospective students and current students about the SAT. So here are my steps to achieve success with the SAT.
1. With any goal, you want to look at goal completion and move backward. With that I mean, say you want to take the SAT test on May 4, 2013, move back at least 3 months and that is the time you should start prepping for the test. In this example, you will need to commence your studying by February 1.
2. Go to http://www.collegeboard.org, create a profile and sign up to take the test. Take a tour within the collegeboard website, as they have some great resources.
3. Did you purchase the official SAT study guide? You can purchase at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Official-SAT-Study-Guide/dp/0874478529/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357660680&sr=8-1&keywords=sat+book or through the collegeboard website.
4. Take one of the practice tests in the back of the SAT book. That will give you a baseline idea of the areas you need to focus on. This will help you when you work with your tutor.
5. Find a great SAT tutor through WyzAnt. Don't try to prep on your own for the SAT. There is a strategy to study for the SAT and to help you maximize your time so you are prepared for the test. Your tutor will help you come up with a study plan that is right for you. They are focused on your success.
6. If you have an iPhone, go to the app store and find one of the many amazing SAT apps to help you. If you have an android, look for an SAT app in the Android app store. This will help you with your vocabulary, math and reading.
7. Breathe. While the test is necessary for college applications, emphasis should be placed on learning and focus, and not worrying about the score you want to get. Anxiety can get in the way of studying and taking the test only if you let it.
8. Come up with your individual study plan. What is going to help you so you can study for the SAT and keep up with your regular class work? Ask your tutor for ideas. Don't be afraid to get your parents' input, too. Remember to pace yourself. Try the 40-20 rule. Work for 40 minutes. Take a 20 minute break. Breaks are important - they help our brains retain the info we just learned. You will have two study plans - your plan for working on your own and your plan with working with your tutor.
9. Relax. Take each day at a time. You have created your plan now put it into action. Don't forget to build some fun time into your study time. Your brain needs the breaks as much as it needs to work.
10. Breathe. Did I say that already? It deserves repeating.
Good luck. Much success to you.