When to prep?
Generally speaking, we suggest that your teen start studying as soon as possible. We have students who begin studying as early as the eighth grade for the SAT and generally perform at the very top among college applicants in 11th and 12th grade because they get accustomed to the test format at an early age. More typically most teens begin prepping in 10th and 11th grade. While some people think that prepping right before the test will work, we have found that advance prep works best since students have more time to learn proper strategies, take plenty of practice tests, manage stress, and integrate everything for test day. Students that are sufficiently prepared usually go into test day with a sense of calm predictability about how the test will go. In general, the earlier the better. So we suggest your teen begin prep as early as possible.
One reason for delay is that many parents believe that their child will learn more in school and will test better later. There is actually very little material on the SAT, if any, that is taught in the junior or senior years. Addition schooling can help students increase speed and consistency, but what works even more effectively is targeted test prep. Moreover our experience has shown that students that prep for the SAT do better in school and because they tighten up key academic proficiencies in math, writing, and critical reading. Especially with writing, many teens benefit greatly in school from learning how to write SAT style timed essays.
The math content on the SAT really only runs through Geometry, with just a tiny amount of math from second year Algebra, all of which we cover in the Accelerated SAT Mastery course. So, don’t be deterred if you feel like it is too early to start. Especially for 10th and 11th graders students sooner is better. Student going into or already in the Fall of senior year should start prepping immediately, if they have not already begun.
The New SAT Coming in March 2016
In March of 2016 a new version of the SAT will be introduced that will be more closely tied to the College Board’s Common Core curriculum. Some parents have asked whether they should wait to prep and take that test. We suggest taking the current SAT if at all possible. Since the new SAT will be more closely aligned with the Common Core it will test material a higher level and we estimate will be more difficult for most students. Students that lock in their score on the current SAT will likely give themselves an advantage over students that only have the new and more difficult test for which they can report scores.
For more information, please check out the details about the Accelerated SAT Mastery online system.