6 Ways to Prepare Your Teen for the SAT

Between AP courses, the SAT, the ACT, and extracurricular activities, your teen’s school schedule is packed full. While organizing all of this can be a handful, it’s important not to let the SAT fall into the background. This test is still a primary factor in college applications and there are many things you can do to help them be prepared.

1. Encourage Them to Read

It doesn’t matter so much what they’re reading as it does that they are reading. The SAT has a section dedicated to testing your child’s reading skills, but even in the math section the ability to read quickly and understand what they’re reading will help them succeed on the test.

2. Take Advantage of Test Prep

Preparing for the SAT is almost an industry in itself. There are in-person tutors, online tutors, online tutorials, study groups both offline and online, prep books, and even apps for your phone or tablet.

While this may sound expensive, and it can be, there also many of these options available for free or low cost. Consider checking your local library for SAT test prep books and ask what your librarian knows about local SAT tutors. Download an SAT prep app onto your teen’s phone or tablet so they can check in with that regularly.

It’s important to take SAT prep seriously, but that doesn’t have to mean you break your budget or don’t do it at all. Mix a variety of options into your teen’s routine to make SAT prep a part of their every day.

3. Prep During the Summer

During the school year, it’s easy to keep the SAT on your mind and your teen’s, but it’s also when they’re busiest and most stressed. Prepping during the summer will be calmer and give them more time to study. It also keeps the test in their mind so they are aware the SAT matters, even during summer break when they don’t have teachers around to remind them.

4. Encourage Your Teen To Take Challenging Courses

While an easy class or two might help pad their schedule and give them a break, taking challenging courses will help them look great on college applications and help them learn more for taking the SAT.

5. Sign up for the PSAT

While the PSAT doesn’t count for college admissions, it is their best chance for getting prepared for the environment of SAT testing. As a bonus, there are scholarships available for students who do exceedingly well on the PSAT.

6. Be Careful About How Much Pressure You Put on Your Teen

Remember that while your child may seem like they don’t care, they’re hearing about the SAT both from you and at school. You need to encourage your teen and keep them moving forward through that stress, not add to it. Remind them it’s an important test, but it’s still just a test. Also remind them they can handle the test, and that colleges look at more than one thing. Remind yourself that they’ll be okay whatever happens.

Preparing Early is Worth the Effort

The SAT test is one of the main factors on your teen’s college applications. Work with your teen as a supporting team member to keep them on track and working towards studying for this test over the long term. While it can be a lot of work to help your teen get ready for the SAT, it’s worth it in the long run to know you both did your best.