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SAT Test Preparation:

The SAT is used by colleges and universities as part of their admission requirements. It is also used to determine NCAA and scholarship eligibility.  The test is designed to measure language skills (Reading and Writing) and Math reasoning skills.

When to take the SAT?

The SAT is administered multiple times during the year – August, October, November, December, March, May and June. The majority of students will take the SAT during their junior year at least twice, reserving a third administration for early in senior year.  SAT test dates can be found by clicking here.

We advise students to register for the SAT at least 8 weeks in advance.  Students may register for the SAT by visiting https://sat.collegeboard.org/register/.  Each test date has its own registration deadline and choice of venues for the test.  Once registered for the test, the students has the option to change the test date. Collegeboard will charge a fee to change the test date.

What’s on the SAT?

The SAT is scored on a scale from 400-1600, it is about 3-hours long (without the essay) and has 4 main sections:

  • SAT Evidence Based Reading (65min) focuses on Main Idea, Vocab-in-Context, Inference, Evidence Support, Data Reasoning, Technique, Detail-Oriented. Questions go in chronological order

  • SAT Evidence Based Writing (35min) includes sentence structure, conventions of usage, punctuation and expression of ideas
  • Non-calculator Math – 25 min
  • Calculator based Math – 55min  Check what calculator is allowed

There is no penalty for wrong answers.

Should I take the Essay?

The new SAT has an essay section at the end of the test, which is now optional. We recommend students to look at their college list to understand the requirements before deciding whether or not to complete the essay portion of the exam.

Read our blog about when you should take SAT w/Essay

 

How to Change your SAT Registration?

If you are signed up to take the SAT and would like to make any changes to your registration information, including:

  • Your personal identifying information
  • Test Day or Center
  • Adding or removing the Essay
  • High School Information or Score Reports

You can click here

 


 

PSAT:

PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a standardized exam that opens doors for National Merit Scholarship programs if taken in the 11th grade.  We HIGHLY recommend all our 10th graders and 11th graders who are targeting NMQST to take this test. Every year many of our students qualify for this high competitive scholarship program.

Some of the questions that concern parents are:  What impact does the PSAT have on the college application process?   What kind of effort should go towards preparing for this test?

PSAT scores have no effect on a student’s candidacy for admission. In fact colleges don’t even get to see the scores.  However, if PSAT scores are competitive, then a student is entitled to national merit scholarships.  Scores from the Junior year test are considered for the NMSQT contest.

Why take the PSAT?

  • The PSAT is a good introduction to exposing students for longer, more demanding tests like the SAT or ACT.  Many students have test-taking anxiety.   Hence, their results on standardized test may not be in line with their in-class academic capabilities.
  • The PSAT provides firsthand practice for the SAT.  Therefore, scores from this test are a powerful indicator on how students will perform on the actual SAT.  It also highlights a student’s strengths and weaknesses in core topic areas, which in turn can form the basis for future test preparation.

How best to prepare for the PSAT?

This is one time when we do not recommend rigorous preparation; a small warm-up is usually enough.  However, for students interested in the National Merit Scholarship, then a more thorough and dedicated effort is needed for preparing for this test. Contact us to discuss your PSAT/NMSQT preparation game plan>>