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Local Tutoring News in McAllen

10 Superb SAT Tips

Apr 14, 2017
Another opportunity to take the SAT is just around the corner so now is the right time for high school students to get some preparation in. While you definitely want your child to have a suitable time frame to study for the college readiness exam, your Sylvan Learning Center of the Rio Grande Valley is here to offer you 10 superb SAT tips that will help them out no matter where they are in their preparation process.
Let’s begin.
1. Don’t be afraid to guess. The newest iteration of the SAT no longer deducts points for incorrect answers, meaning students should not be afraid to guess (and that every question should be answered). To improve their chances, students should utilize Process Of Elimination to rid themselves of answer choices that are obviously wrong.
2. Time management is key. The SAT is a timed exam, so students should have an understanding of how many questions each section has and how long they have to complete the section. Pacing is going to be key to ensure they aren’t rushing in the final minutes of the section and they should bare in mind that they DO NOT receive any extra points for a difficult question in comparison to an easy one.
3. Know where to focus. Your child shouldn’t stress themselves out over not being a grammatician or math wiz, but they should recognize where they need some support so that they can better prepare for those sections. Taking a practice exam will help them to focus on where they need to strengthen skills.
4. Calculator-free section. The SAT now features a calculator-free math portion. This section consists of 20 questions (15 multiple choice and 5 grid-ins) that cover algebra, geometry, and other advanced math topics. To prepare for this portion, students need to brush up on their arithmetic skills and their word problem comprehension.
5. Speaking of math...don’t forget those graphs. The redesigned Math section will have an increased focus on data interpretation and graphing, so you’re child will need to have a solid grasps of these concepts which are interrelated.
6. Recognize connotation in Reading questions. Connotation and context is important to understand in both Reading questions and answers. For instance, a Reading section question may include a positive or negative connotation in relation to a given portion of a passage. So by understanding if you are looking for “least qualified answer” for example, then you can help yourself eliminate a couple of choices.
Context is also going to play an important role in questions that ask for you to define a given term. Students should understand that the context of a given term with multiple meanings can be derived from reading the sentences before and after the given term.
7. How would you solve it? A helpful technique, students should attempt to answer a Reading section question by developing their own answer before looking at the answer choices. This tip will help your child to better define what it is they believe should be corrected. If their change can be found as an answer choice, then they should feel confident going with that solution.

8. Know your grammar rules. The evidence-based Writing portion is going to test students on their ability to correctly use conventional English, their ability to find grammatical errors, and their skills to organize and clarify paragraphs. Having a fundamental grasp of grammar rules and conventions will help them to identify the best way to answer a question. Remind them that conventional language is often straightforward, so they should avoid complicated or awkward answer choices.
9. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. Students have probably read a variation of bubbling tips. Some experts suggest bubbling answers one at a time to avoid mistakes that can lead to scantrons being one-off. Others may suggest to bubble in answers every 5 questions or at the end of the paragraph. Then there are those who will recommend to only answer at the end of the entire section.
What is important for your child to understand is:
  • They should only use the strategy that will allow them enough time to complete the answer sheet. 
  • Answering questions in the test booklet is not enough. If the answer sheet is not bubbled in, it will be as if they did not take the test. 
  • They should avoid bubbling in a rush in the last minute of the test. Doing so can mean a costly mistake. 
  • It’s ok to change answers, but they will need to make sure their previous answer choice is completely erased. 
10. Breathe. College entrance exams are stressful enough, so parents need to be wary of adding on to the pressure of the day. The evening before the big exam, allow them an opportunity to relax and enjoy some leisure activities.
Also, help them prepare the night before by getting together No. 2 pencils, an approved calculator, the registration ticket, a photo ID, and a watch to keep time throughout the test.
In the morning, make sure they eat a hearty and healthy breakfast that will give them the energy to get through the next couple of hours.
Contact one of your Rio Grande Valley Sylvan Learning Centers today to learn more about how you can receive a FREE practice test.
Sylvan Learning Center offers outstanding programs to help your child reach their fullest potential. Test preparedness can lead to better results and your teen getting into the college of their dreams.
Contact our McAllen, Harlingen, or Brownsville office today for more information. 
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