During the SAT, each section is only given about 20 to 25 minutes. Reading fast is thus a definite advantage. How much more of the text could you read and absorb to answer each question in that one minute? A friend once told me, “I always ran out of time on the SAT practice tests. I would worry about understanding everything before tackling the questions, especially in the reading comprehension section. As a result, I didn’t have enough time to really think through and answer the questions as well I could have if I had had more time.” In the reading comprehension section especially, one key skill would be to speed read.
[Continue reading to find out more about speed reading in the SAT…]
Preparation is key to any test, right? So all the prep I’ve been doing for my SATs must be helping me somehow, right? This is actually untrue! Although preparation is important for the SATs, there are actually mistakes we can make and things we should not do to prepare for the SATs.
[Continue reading to find out what these 6 SAT prep mistakes are…]
Oh man…my SAT is in a month’s time and I haven’t started preparing for it. In addition to my normal school work, extracurricular and the hundred other things I have to do, how am I supposed to even start preparing for perhaps one of the most important tests in my life? Unsurprisingly, with most of the SAT dates during the school term, albeit during a Saturday, many students see the SAT as another enormous challenge placed smack center amidst all the other commitments they already have. Many of these high school students are already barely sleeping 6 hours and are stressed out from trying to achieve high exam scores/class rankings.
Preparing for the SAT thus seems like an additional insurmountable challenge, where you face off thousands of students from all over the country who will contribute to your eventual score and ranking. Sometimes, the seeming difficulty of the SAT causes students to put off preparing for it till much later because “it just seems too hard and tiring to start right now”. Yet, taking a daily approach for the SAT is probably the best thing you can do to prepare for it!
Make it a point not to take days off! This is the first most important thing you have to take note of! Even if you only have 10 minutes on the bus or right before you fall asleep, study 10 new vocabulary words everyday and that tiny bit of work every single day will add up to a great deal in the long run.
[Continue reading to find out how to prepare daily for the SAT…]
Although seemingly innocuous, one of the biggest problems everyone faces is anxiety. Multiple students have told me that even though they have done as much preparation as possible, they are still overwhelmed by feelings of stress and anxiety on the night before the SAT. Although they are often told by their parents, teachers and SAT tutors to relax and rest early on that night, many students are often eaten alive by worrying thoughts: What if the three alarms I’ve set don’t work tomorrow? What if I can’t remember anything I’ve memorized come tomorrow? What if I have no idea what the essay question is asking me? What if there are really difficult vocabulary words? What if…? Sometimes, these thoughts force students into insomnia and keep them up till the wee hours of the morning, hurting their performance during the actual SAT.
[Continue reading to find out how to deal with SAT anxiety…]
For those of you who may think, “Oh, I have a terrible memory. I could never retain all the stuff I need to remember for school”, think again. Memory is far more dependent on technique and habit than innate ability.
In 2003, Nature analyzed the cognitive abilities of eight people who finished near the top of the World Memory Championships and found that their natural memory abilities and brain anatomies were NO DIFFERENT from those of the common person.
A typical World Memory Championship competitor can easily memorize and recite, in order, an entire deck of playing cards in less than 2 minutes, and an ordered list of over 1000 random numbers in an hour. These memory athletes, using their very average memories, simply trained themselves to use powerful techniques that take advantage of the way the human brain encodes and stores information to accomplish impressive feats of memory.
Believe it or not, if you had the discipline to train your mind to commit information to memory in a new way, you too could accomplish extraordinary feats of memory as well.
[Continue reading to learn techniques you can use to improve retention] Continue reading →
Time management is an essential skill for getting through high school, college, and the rest of your life! Here are my top two suggestions for getting organized and making the most of your time.
By making a list of tasks, you will be able to manage your time accordingly to get everything done. Being aware of everything you have to do is half of the battle!
I would recommend splitting your to-do list into three parts, depending on the urgency of each task. Here is an example list:
1. Highest Priority – do this today
Biology homework (due tomorrow in class)
Proofread essay on “Of Mice and Men” (due tomorrow in class)
Pick up French textbook from Alice’s house
2. Medium Priority – do this before the end of the week
Meet with Matthew to work on history presentation (due next week)
Organize handouts in Math folder
Practice SAT test before tutoring session on Friday
3. Low Priority – do this before the end of the month
Sign up for May SAT test date
While you are studying, I would also recommend listing any concepts that you are struggling to understand. That way, you can easily articulate any questions to your teacher, and you will be able to focus on those “problem areas” when studying for a test.
[Continue reading to learn about study schedules and additional tips]