Summer break is here, which means that high school students aren’t interacting in the classroom or engaging in problem-solving activities in a formal setting. The bad news about this is that students may not retain important information they learned during the academic year or may continue to struggle with certain subjects. If they have to take the SAT in the fall, this lapse in education is doubly problematic.
The SAT is among the most demanding tests a student will take during their high school career. With math, critical reading and writing on the test, students must demonstrate proficiency in many areas in order to score well.
Many high school students are encouraged to take the SAT because it is one of the most widely used college entrance exams, but are they really prepared for it? The good news is that there are many things parents can do to help their children get ready to take the test, including encouraging them to keep up with their studies during the summer.
Why spend time during the summer studying for the SAT? Aside from keeping the mind active, studying for the SATs during the summer gives students some major advantages.
First of all, summer study can prepare students for the test-taking process itself. While that sounds unnecessary, it's a well-known fact that the SAT contains questions that are meant to engage critical thinking and can confuse those who are not paying attention with nearly correct, but false answers. Trying out sample questions and getting a feel for the types of problems that will be included on the test can help students prepare more effectively and avoid surprises on the day of the test.
Achieving a high score on the SAT is not merely reliant on cramming and memorizing boring facts; it's actually heavily dependent on having a strong base of knowledge in a field of study. For instance, knowing the meaning of a word won't matter very much if a person can't use it correctly in a sentence or identify it by context. And memorizing theorems in geometry won't do students a bit of good if they can't solve problems using them.
Studying during the summer allows students more time to brush up on the subjects they know and learn the things that they don't. Summer is also a great time to hire a tutor and achieve some real progress before the busy school year.
Balancing college application deadlines and studying for the test can put a lot of pressure on students during the fall and winter months. If students don't study for the SAT test during the summer, they only have a month or so left to do so before the first fall tests – scheduled for October and November. Early fall will also be crammed with other schoolwork and any extra-curricular activities that they take part in, not to mention any college applications that they are filling out. Sure, students could wait and take the SAT later in the year, but this might put a limit on the number of options they have when applying to colleges.
By preparing for the test over the summer, students will keep their brains sharp so that they won't have to cram as much at the last minute or hurt their chances on their applications. All of this preparation can lead to better SAT scores, acceptances to better schools and, down the line, perhaps better jobs.
Taking the time to prepare for the SAT during the summer allows students to heave a big sigh of relief when it's time to take the actual test. Having a summer study plan will create a structured routine that students and their parents can feel confident about when it counts.