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A Guide To Last-Minute Prepping for SATs

For high school juniors across the country, April and May are considered “testing season.” Students take a variety of tests (whether they are required to or choose to) ranging from the ACT, Advance Placement tests, the WorkKeys test, state data-collection testing, and most prominently, the SAT. Often, juggling the work of other classes along with studying for the upcoming tests seems like an impossible task, and the necessary preparation can often elude students until the very last minute. So, what does one do when they look at the calendar and realize they have nearly a week left before the big test day, and they haven’t even begun to study for it? Here are some options.

1. Khan Academy

The most helpful of all SAT prep resources, Khan Academy is a completely free website that, in association with the College Board, offers miniature quizzes in the exact same format as SAT questions. Students can watch videos to learn how to perform specific mathematic tasks, and can even take full-length practice SAT tests. Khan Academy analyzes which areas a student needs help on and personalizes lessons just for them.

2. College Board

The College Board website offers full-length practice SAT tests which give immediate results and answer explanations. There are seven tests to choose from, and they are printable so that students can practice writing on paper as they will have to do for the actual SAT. Because the College Board is in charge of the official test, these practice tests are certified and are closely related to the actual SAT.

3. ZAPS/Doorway to College

This is one that requires purchasing, but is very much worth it and can be done in a short amount of time. ZAPS teaches students less about correct answers and more about how to approach questions they do not know and still get a maximum possible score. Students learn techniques for guessing accurately, eliminating, and critically thinking. They offer online seminars for those who do not have a seminar in their area.

4. Magoosh Mobile Apps

You can find these on the App Store as well as the Google Play Store. All of the apps are free and include the Vocabulary Builder (which can benefit students’ essay writing abilities), Math Practice, and GRE Prep & Practice. The setup is simple and easy and feels more like a fun game rather than a study session.

Know that even the smallest bit of practice can help. There is no need to devote hours upon hours to absorbing as much material as possible. Just a bit of studying each day can prepare you enough.

It is also helpful to read tips on what to do outside of actually studying the content of the test. Cramming the night before is never a good idea, and you should get to bed early starting at least two nights before the test. Review your past practice tests and check to see your typical mistakes; try to avoid repeating them. Make sure to eat breakfast the big day, and read up on the requirements and restrictions of what to bring with you into the testing room. Remember that the best thing to do is stay calm and take your time, and believe that you can. Good luck!

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