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How early you should start preparing for the SAT totally depends on your plans to study abroad and the admission requirements. The other aspect to consider is how ready you are to take up the SAT examination and your strengths and areas for improvement in Verbal and Math.
It is important to have a complete understanding of how the SAT Assessment Suite framework works and the test structure and its format. The multistage adaptive nature of the test impacts the overall score. So it is imperative that the student does the first module of both verbal and math well to be able to be exposed to harder questions on the second module which gives a higher possibility of getting a higher score.
Deciding on the right time to begin preparation for the SAT and also working around a good study plan to achieve the target score is one of the challenges that students face. Is there a solution to address this challenge? Honestly, there is no accurate answer that can be given to all students as the time and process would vary for every student.
According to the college application timeline, you should give your 100% effort to take your first SAT exam in March – June of your tenth grade or June – Oct of the eleventh class. This way, if you are not satisfied with the score and think that you can score better, you can retake the SAT. If you get a good score on the first attempt, it implies you can focus completely on the Application process in Grade 12.
The Early, The Better proverb works very efficiently when it comes to The SAT Exam. Let’s see how this happens:
The 9th grader has an enviable edge that stays with him! Students, who took the PSAT in the 9th grade, just for fun, as they termed it, were better poised to take the SAT in the 10th/11th grade in terms of preparation, approach, and collective wisdom gained from the earlier attempt. The 9th grader takes the PSAT with an open mind and without any clue of what the exam requires in terms of preparation.
But after taking the test, he becomes acquainted with the SAT standardized testing patterns, which are so diametrically opposed to the testing patterns of school academia. This first brush with the SAT opens up a new world of learning and preparation that children need to possess to do well on such tests.
With proper coaching either on their own or with the help of a private tutor, students notice measurable improvement and they do extremely well on their second and perhaps final attempt.
Taking the SAT more than once is a boon, not a bane, but a clear decision on the number of attempts that needs to be made. Multiple attempts should not also give the impression of being inconsistent. With the College Board option of Score Choice, you can decide which score you want to project to the colleges you are seeking admission to.
Or if you want colleges to look at the upward graph of scores in all sections of all the tests you have taken, then opt for those colleges who accept super scoring, which means they will consider your highest section scores across multiple test dates.
High school math and English is fine as school goes, but the SAT Math and English is a different ball game. Children in their 9th/10th grades read a lot of literature and are good at appreciating the nuances of the prose piece in their non-detailed text. But the SAT English requires a different approach to reading or understanding trends in graphs in the Evidence-based Reading and Writing section of the SAT test.
It is better for students to get their hands on such reading trends and likewise on the quirky ways of testing algebra and arithmetic problems that are so typically SAT. Even if the test makes no sense the first time, it is sure to be conquered in the second or final attempt, provided the ways to crack the test have been learned under the able guidance of tutors.
It is highly recommended to take the PSAT in your sophomore year to get your base SAT score. Then, figure out your target score for the SAT. Finally, begin to study either during your sophomore year or the following summer and take the SAT junior fall.
The intensity of your SAT Preparation will vary by how selective the schools you want to get into, your starting score, and how much you need to enhance it. But it will be amazing for you to start during the sophomore year by taking the PSAT or the SAT practice test, to be on track to get your best possible score during junior year. This will free up your senior year for college applications.
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