SAT Prep Tips for Middle Schoolers

By Huntington Learning Center

It’s Never too Early: SAT Prep for Middle Schoolers

Many parents assume they can wait until their children are in high school to begin preparing for the SAT exam. However, your child's middle school years are formative and have an incredible influence on future academic success.  Don't let these years pass by without committing to some SAT prep. Early preparation shouldn't be overwhelming, pressure packed, or stressful. Instead, preparing for the SAT in middle school is more about building solid academic skills, expanding your child's knowledge on a variety of subjects, and early intervention when problems present themselves.

SAT prep for middle schoolers can be a simple process. Make sure you:

  • Read, read, read Encourage your child to read a wide variety of texts and challenge your child to explore new subjects. Success on the SAT depends largely on whether your child has a working understanding and prior knowledge of a variety of subjects. There is no better way to build this understanding than through reading. To encourage your middle schooler to read more you can establish a family book club, take frequent trips to the public library, subscribe to magazines that cover a wide range of topics, and discuss the books your child is currently reading.
  • Focus on vocabulary Focusing on vocabulary words is an excellent way to integrate SAT prep for middle schoolers into your child's academic preparation. Sentence completion items award about 200 of the 800 critical reading points available. Vocabulary learning shouldn't be rote or boring though! There are many great ways to build vocabulary knowledge slowly over time to ensure understanding and retention. If your middle schooler has a smart phone or a tablet consider downloading a vocabulary app that teaches a new word each day. Your child can interact with the app to understand the word's definition, how it is used in context, and related words. Many "tear off" desktop calendars also offer a word-of-the-day. You can challenge your middle school student to read and understand the new word each morning and then find as many ways as they can to use it during the day. Don't doubt the impact reading and talking can have on your child's vocabulary understanding. Learning about new concepts and having engaging conversations with others is one of the best ways to increase vocabulary. 
  • Build foundational skills One of the most important things you can do to prepare your middle schooler for the SAT is to build solid foundational skills. The skills and knowledge mastered in middle school will lay the groundwork for both confidence and success once in high school. For example, middle school math teaches many different algebraic concepts such as quadratic and linear equations, logarithms, and polynomials. Understanding these concepts helps boost confidence and the likelihood of success in high school math classes such as algebra trigonometry, and calculus. A solid math foundation encourages both continued academic growth and proper preparation for the SAT exam. 
  • Address concerns early If you notice that your child is struggling in any academic area don't wait to address your concerns. Early intervention will increase your child's academic understanding and confidence. Huntington Learning Centers are an excellent resource if you are concerned about your child's academic performance. Our professional tutors will work with you to determine the root cause of your child's struggles and will then create a personalized learning plan to address these concerns. The tutor will also ensure that the work done during the tutoring sessions aligns with your child's classroom work and will communicate, as needed, with your child's teachers.


Huntington Learning Centers offer a variety of subject area, academic skill, and test prep tutoring services. Our professional tutors are specially trained to assess a student's individual needs and design a tutoring program that maximizes current understanding while mastering new skills. Ongoing assessment allows our tutors to make adjustments to these tutoring programs to boost a middle school student's confidence, preparation for future learning, and the skills needed to be successful on the SAT exam. 


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