Your child is taking the SAT and you can see that they’re stressed. But are you stressed even more than they are? We believe the advice people usually get – don’t worry – doesn’t work. Therefore, we’re offering you ways to help with preparation for the upcoming SAT exam.
We’re sure your child already has a study plan. However, even though a student knows a great deal, their fear of failure can impair learning and hurt test performance. So it’s important to be mentally prepared for taking the exam.
Facts about the SAT
Before going through our suggestions for making preparation for the SAT easier and helping your child have a higher score, let’s review some important facts about it.
The March SAT is just days away now and pressure increases every day. The fact we need to keep in mind is that the SAT is a test, as are AP tests, EOC, PSAT, and ACT. The score your child gets by taking some of these may be important for college admissions but is not defining their future. Also, many schools all over the U.S. dropped the SAT/ACT testing requirement.
Do these facts reassure you?
Still, you want your child to have a high SAT score. How can you help them?
Four ways to help your child be prepared for taking the test
Oh, if I’ve had one more day, I’d…
How many times did you have a thought like this? Starting early gives your child a buffer to try a few study approaches and get comfortable with the test content. And if they start early, it’ll be easier – they can study one hour a day instead of six, and still cover everything. Plus, knowing that we have plenty of time to do something makes us less anxious.
Is starting three months ahead too early? Is it possible to do well on the SAT with only one month of studying?
Answers to these questions are not universal. It depends on whether your student is motivated, has test anxiety, a study routine they already follow, their schedule, etc. In any case, it would be great to add an extra week or two to the time your kid estimated to be enough.
However, if you think you’re running out of time and your teen is still struggling with the preparation, you can ask for help. We’ve worked hard on finding tutors who can give your student the best chance of succeeding. All our tutors are highly knowledgeable, they pay attention to every individual student, and are able to adapt their approach to the student’s needs.
Help them develop test-taking skills
As we’ve already emphasised, the SAT is a test. Therefore, developing good test-taking skills helps your child answer faster and perform better.
Talk with them about reading the directions carefully – we all tend to skip over directions sometimes. Also, if they answer questions they know first and after that return to the more difficult ones, they’re going to be faster and motivated. You can find some tests online and help them practice this skill.
Encourage your child
Giving your student lots of praise and encouragement will make them look forward to learning activities. Praise their efforts and the time they devote to preparation. Don’t focus on results. Also, help them understand that their self-worth is not defined by the score they get.
Help them stay healthy
If a kid is physically or emotionally exhausted, it will be more difficult for them to handle stress and anxiety.
So, pay attention to their sleep hours and assist them in preparing healthier meals. Exercising can help them deal with stress and focus better, too. Don’t forget to allow them personal time – a break and relaxation are necessary.
P.S. Don’t forget your own me-time! Your mental health is just as important.
Note: don’t push it too hard
These four suggestions can certainly be a big help in dealing with the SAT or any other exam. However, despite good intentions, some parents are so focused on getting a high score that they push their child too hard.
Now, helping your child is great but pushing them hard may hurt and hinder them. Imagine how they’d feel if you were to tell them to work harder when they’re already doing the best they can. You’d be invalidating their efforts and killing their motivation.
Always remember that your student is taking the test and not you. Talk to them about their study routines, how much they know, etc., but always encourage them to tell you about their challenges and the best way to help them.
If you still worry your efforts are not paying off, our Coaches are here for you. They work with the student but also help family members to deal with the challenges they face.