Archive for May, 2010

Preparing for the June SAT

Yesterday I started individual prep for the June SAT with a junior at Palm Beach Central looking to improve her score.  She’d taken the April SAT administered by her high school, and she asked a very good question.

“How much can I expect to improve my score in a month?”

The typical answer I give students is that it’s highly variable.  Students should aim for a 50 point increase in each area – math, critical reading, and writing- for a net increase of 150 points.  However, I recently got a call from a very happy parent whose son Chris improved by 250 points.

Why do some students improve more than others?  For a few reasons:

1.  A tutor who has the ability to identify and work specifically on a student’s individual challenges is key.

The SAT is a comprehensive test of what your student has learned up to this point in his or her academic career.  The tutor must be able to identify and hone in on your student’s specific challenges to maximize their time together.

2.  A tutor who is going to challenge your student to perform outside his comfort zone is key.

If a student finds tutoring sessions easy, it is because the tutor has not correctly identified the student’s weaknesses.  New knowledge and new skills should be learned at each session and reinforced by assigned homework.

3.  Students who spend time on the homework will improve more than students who don’t.

As a tutor I often find that students who do all assigned homework improve the most.  To pay attention during tutoring sessions isn’t enough.  Real confidence and competence is built when the student realizes that she can apply the skills learned in tutoring independently.

4.  Finally, attitude is the most important factor.

I routinely coach my students to avoid saying “I don’t know” or “I can’t”.  Although sometimes it may be the truth, when I encourage the student to guess he or she often guesses correctly as to the next step of a problem.  Your student must realize he knows more than he thinks he does.

Best of luck preparing for the upcoming June SAT, and please contact Wellington Tutoring if we can help you with your test prep needs.

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