So now that you’ve gotten your kids this far up to their sophomore, junior or senior year of high school, you should be able to sit back and relax a little, right? Well, not exactly. For many of you, the prospect of college looms brightly in the air. And of course there are certain tests your kids have to pass in order to get accepted into most U.S. colleges… Ah, yes, the SAT.

Short for “Scholastic Aptitude Test”, the SAT is the most widely used examination for students to assess their knowledge, prior to entering into the world of higher education. It consists of several parts, including critical reading, mathematics and writing. So, the question then arises as to how best to prepare for this assessment? If you try to ‘google’ this question, you will probably be bombarded with test prep study guides and programs, each touting itself as the best and most efficient. No matter which way you choose to go here, we have some simple tips to help every high schooler prepare for this very important milestone exam.

First, take all the practice tests you can, either the paper or online versions. This is the best way to prepare as it not only helps you to keep track of your progress, but it helps you build important test taking endurance. Secondly, be sure you understand your test structures. Most questions on the SAT are arranged in order of difficulty, with the easiest questions being first. Be sure to manage your time accordingly.

Next, just read. Read anything and everything you can get your hands on. Read articles on both familiar and unfamiliar subjects. Read the first few paragraphs and then challenge yourself to determine the author’s views on the subject at hand. Ask yourself questions about what you’re reading. In a related manner, be sure to study all the new vocabulary words you can. Whether you determine to have a ‘word of the day’ that you look up and use in a sentence or two, or find SAT vocabulary lists online, be sure not to skimp on this important area.

Equally as important is to make sure you have all the tools you need. Don’t forget to familiarize yourself with and bring your calculators. Also, memorize all necessary rules and formulas. Even though they’ll give you some formulas at the beginning of the exam, it’s better to have them memorized, so as not to waste valuable time.

Finally, make sure you understand how to use a multiple choice test to your advantage. For example, on the math section, you can often eliminate answers by plugging them back into the original equations. It’s also very important to make sure that, when you get to a question you have absolutely no idea how to answer, you skip it and answer the questions you can actually understand and solve. For more information and for test prep assistance, contact Dynamis Learning Academy. Our tutors are skilled at taking the SAT and know exactly how to help you do your best on the test.

Although sometimes stressful, the SAT should be conquerable if you pay attention in school and do some basic preparations. If you feel yourself getting stressed upon taking the exam, remember to pause, breathe, and close your eyes for just a moment…You’ve got this!