Archive for July, 2011

Using the Summer to Prepare for the SAT

With summer break already half over, many students are beginning to think about the upcoming academic year, and about what they can do to prepare.

One of the best ways to alleviate the stress of the upcoming year is by studying for the SAT over the summer.  Although the SAT is touted as a test of inherent intelligence, the fact is that it is a very learnable test.

Given enough time, good resources, and some guidance, it is possible to significantly improve one’s score on this daunting exam.

What to do

The SAT has 10 sections and covers your student’s writing, reading, and math skills.  In my years as a SAT prep tutor I’ve researched many different resources and have found the following to be most beneficial for each subject area.

Best Comprehensive Review

College Board Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd edition – If you get only one book, get this one.  This book, written by the makers of the SAT, contains 10 real SATs that were administered in the past.  Practicing actual questions is the best way to prepare.  The SAT tends to recycle very similar concepts in slightly different contexts, so by doing every test in this book, your student will become so familiar with the way that the SAT poses questions that come testing day he/she will be comfortable and prepared.

Best Writing Resource

Up Your Score is a tremendous book for the writing and vocabulary sections of the test.  Written by a group of perfect scorers who’ve gone on to study at Ivy League colleges, this book has a humorous, down to Earth tone that my students have really enjoyed. Within it are 13 rules for improving your score on the grammar portion of the test, and they cover the most common writing errors that will be tested.

Best Math Resource

Acing the New SAT I Math is available at the Greenhall Publishing website, and is the most comprehensive math review I’ve found.  It’s broken down concept by concept allowing your student to focus on those concepts that are most troublesome.  Hundred of practice problems ensure that your student fully grasps each concept.

Begin by having your student take the very first test in The College Board’s Official Study Guide.  This will help you to determine his/her strengths and weaknesses and design a study plan accordingly.  Preparing for the SAT can be time-intensive, so the summer break presents the best opportunity to really put in the prep time that this important exam demands.

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Brushing Up on Math Over the Summer

The school year has long since ended and most students couldn’t be happier to be out of academic mode.

But unfortunately for students (and very fortunately for their parents) August is just around the corner, and with August comes the beginning of a new academic year.

Many students are using the summer to get a jump start on classes they are scheduled to take next year. One very proactive Wellington father – a police officer – called me at the beginning of the summer concerned about his son’s upcoming pre-calculus/trigonometry class.

“Justin has always been a good math student, but this past year he didn’t have a good teacher and couldn’t make an A. I’m concerned that he doesn’t have all the knowledge he will need to do well in his honors math class next year.”

Of additional concern was his son’s demanding schedule – as a football player and honor roll student with high expectations of himself, Justin’s father was concerned there simply wouldn’t be time to address any gaps in Justin’s knowledge once the year begins.

He started Justin on weekly tutoring sessions aimed at familiarizing him with trig fundamentals, giving him the head start he needs to make next year’s class less intimidating.

At the halfway point in summer break, now is a good time to look ahead to your student’s upcoming academic load and see if there’s anything that can be done now to lighten it. Self-study materials are available at bookstores and online for any subject, and youtube is a great source for tutorials for the proactive student.

Make good use of the down time during the summer and your student will greatly benefit! Please feel free to call Wellington Tutoring at (561) 247 2810 with questions or comments. We look forward to hearing from you!


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