How to Prepare for the SAT

Emily Huseth
Edited by Angela Lapuz 
Published on
April 30, 2023

General Ideas about the SAT: 

The SAT. What is it?

As stated by The Princeton Review, “The SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions.” However, it is considered unnecessary or "dumb" by many American students.

Why is the SAT necessary?

As stated by the College Board, “The SAT scores help colleges compare students from different highschools. Your scores show your strengths and readiness for college work.” However, many students and individuals in general, find it difficult to accept the idea of relying on one standardized test to evaluate whether or not someone is ready or capable of being admitted to a specific academic institution. 

Is the SAT a reliable way of determining an individual's intelligence?

According to ThoughtCo., “The SAT does not measure how great of a student you are.” Yet, we rely on the SAT to assess our admittance chance in a university, because it is something you will have to take regardless. While many schools and universities now offer the "test optional” in their college applications, there are still many academic institutions, especially private universities, that do not. 

I know you are probably worried about this exam and do not know how to prepare for it. Let me tell you about some of the numerous types of PREP available. I will talk about other students’ thoughts and experiences, while giving you the most genuine responses possible!

How to Prepare on the Exam: 

#1. Text Books

I assume many of us are familiar with textbooks. Spending on what you are studying for will give you extensive knowledge on the subject. Textbooks help you explain step by step everything you should know about the situation you are dealing with. I chose to study for the SAT using a textbook, and in my opinion, it was really educational and detailed. If you are a hardworking and focused person, I feel a textbook would be quite beneficial to you when studying for the SAT. 

#2. SAT Tutoring

I believe that it is common knowledge that no two people are alike. With that said, it would be feasible to believe that no two people will understand, learn, or for that matter think the same way. So, it is very possible that Textbooks may not benefit your SAT Prep but SAT tutoring could. Lauren O, is a friend of mine. She had tried many forms of SAT Prep, from videos to Textbooks, to tutoring. And she found that SAT tutoring benefited her the most. She told me,“They really help you grasp the content, the Textbooks are a bit all over the place.” Just like Lauren O, many other students have more trouble grasping content when it simply comes from a piece of paper, but this does not mean that textbooks are not helpful. It is just the fact that everyone learns differently.

#3. YouTube Videos

YouTube. The center of most teenagers' entertainment, and the source of answers to complicated questions. Throughout the years, we have seen kids struggle to understand, let alone find a method to educate themselves on particular issues. Back in the day, many students, including my father, had to study from a textbook then take the SAT a few days later, "hoping for the best," as he would say. Wyatt H, a student, stated, “Videos have always been way easier for me. Everyone likes to over-complicate stuff, the videos are just straightforward.” Nowadays, the ability to learn and educate oneself is only a few letters and searches away. Although YouTube may not be as popular for SAT prep as a textbook or SAT tutoring, it is still an effective option.

Main Idea:

SAT prep is challenging, not to mention the test itself. You most likely have high expectations of yourself, and the worry of not meeting those expectations may be all that consumes your mind. So, how can one prepare for such a mentally exhausting and stressful exam? Sadly, I do not have an answer to that question. I am well aware that I am a pessimist. I always imagine the worst-case scenario before it occurs. I second-guess myself, refusing to allow any chance of good or hope to enter my thinking. But, despite it all, I have discovered that relying on and faith in my job and studies is all I can do. And, as difficult as it may be to believe, once I trusted that I had done everything I could before the test in terms of preparation, I knew that the effort I had done in the past would shine through. That still did not indicate that I was definitely going to do well or poorly. Similarly, there is no way of knowing what type of SAT PREP will work best for you. Therefore, I encourage you to seek out new resources and techniques of self-education. Find out what works best for you and what makes you the most comfortable. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you know which bubble you are in as you take the test.

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