SAT Prep: A Junior at the Wheatley School Weighs In

July 11, 2014

Dustin is a junior at The Wheatley School in Old Westbury, New York. He is starting the college application process this summer. Here, Dustin shares his study approach for the SAT and what he liked and disliked about SAT preparation.

I started preparing for the SAT during the first week of junior year. My parents had hired a tutor who they had heard great things about and was slightly less expensive than many of the other highly recommended SAT tutors in my community.  My tutor was extremely helpful in making sure I was preparing for the test efficiently, and he was helpful by teaching me study methods that he found useful.

Each week, my tutor would assign me sections of math, reading, and writing work, and he would also give me 35 vocabulary words to learn for the sentence completion multiple-choice questions. I found this regimen to be very organized and helpful to my preparation, but at times, I found the vocabulary words to be a waste of time. While learning the words occasionally helped me on the multiple-choice questions, sentence completion questions were so unpredictable and random that I could still be incorrect on several of them depending on how “lucky” I got with the choices for each question. Then again, learning the words that my tutor assigned to me did increase the odds of me answering a sentence completion correctly, so I can understand why he assigned these words to me.

Having a tutor made my SAT preparation experience much easier, but it is definitely possible to reach a certain score without a tutor if you are determined. Set weekly goals for yourself and do a consistent number of practice sections per week to ensure that you won’t feel unprepared when taking the SAT. Also, although it is important to recognize how important the SAT is, don’t let nerves get the best of you while taking the test. If you are confident in yourself, your score will reflect your confidence.

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