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Conquering the SAT

I have been tutoring the SAT for over 4 years now, and have researched best practices for SAT test taking. Though I have trained with Kaplan, I think most students need a lesson plan that is individually tailored to their communication, processing style, and areas of weakness, particularly in mathematics.

Here are some tips that I use to help my students with the SAT in mathematics. First I have them log into their collegeboard account. Any student registered for the SAT will have a college board account that is already set up. Take 2 timed mathematics test, and score them, on the collegeboard site! This will give you an idea of where you stand! After the test is taken, I work on my own and in conjunction with the site on assessing the student's strengths and weaknesses. Many times they simply understand one topic better than another, or have had a weaker or stronger teacher in particular subject areas or for a particular year. Then I re-teach them the particular subject area they are having trouble with. Some are straightforward, like linear geometry (you need to know the rules), others are more complex, like logic and problem solving. We start with the simple.

I give them SAT problems in the given weak area, until they recognize and identify them and voila! My students are confident with this problem- sometimes even more confident than with the easier problems! When I feel satisfied that they have conquered their weaker areas, we progress to "test taking strategies". Did you know for example that a skipped answer now does not hurt your score, but a wrong answer does? That's right! Only "guess" if you can cross off 3 potential answers as wrong. Did you know all questions count equally? That's right!! Do not spend too much time on the harder ones, skip them, and go on to the easier ones!

Finally, we register for more than one test and take 1-2 final and time practice tests and re-score. Most of my students see an improvement from 80 to 270 points (my best student). You can do this!


Thank-you for your post. I am beginning to do SAT tutoring. I have done some tutoring in the past(very little) but found that I was not that effective. I think partly because I tutored for 1 hour a week. This was a continuation of the schedule I was following with the student in his/her math course. I was wondering how many hours per week would be ideal and which SAT prep books are best to follow. I really do appreciate your help. Samantha
great Post since I am new I need the help