I remember the pressure and stress when I was going through all of the preparation for the SAT test. Nowadays, the pressure is even higher for students to get good scores on the SATs. My little sister is now a senior in high school and I’ve been able to take my past experience and help her along her SAT exam journey to make the experience a little less stressful.
1. Encourage SAT prep classes– These SAT sessions are great for getting extra study time into your child’s schedule. Typically these extra classes are after-school or on weekends, but they are beneficial when you can be in a group setting to bounce study strategies and ideas from friends and instructors.
2. Don’t get burned out on flashcards- It’s true that everyone uses flash cards when it comes to the dreaded vocabulary section of the SATs, but sometimes you can get burned out on them. Make sure flashcards are merely a supplemental part of your child’s various SAT studying tools. Go through SAT prep books, discuss words, and even grab that dictionary. Encourage reading books on their free time.
3. Practice, practice, practice– Going through a few practice SATs will really give them the feel of the test taking experience and a feel for the type of questions they’ll encounter on the big day. The more practice tests they take, the more comfortable you’ll be when the real deal comes around. You can get practice tests from SAT prep books and various sites online.
4. Get enough rest– Studying 24 hours a day will do no good if your brain hasn’t gotten enough rest. You want to be relaxed and rested to let all of those brain juices flow. It’s been said that information is retrieved more easily when the brain has rested. Ensure your child gets a good nights sleep before their SAT exam day to ensure they don’t doze off while reading an analogy question during the test.
5. Feed the body and mind- Be sure that your child is not so concentrated on studying for the SATs that they forget to eat. Your body will react in a negative way if you don’t take in enough nutrients. While studying, be sure your child has plenty of water and juice and provide healthy snacks like apples and carrot sticks. The morning of the SAT exam, be sure that they eat a good breakfast to get their metabolism kicking and their blood flowing from the brain.
6. Support from the sidelines– It won’t help your child if you’re constantly asking them every hour if they’re studying or incessantly asking them what SAT words they learned today. It’s best to let them know that you’re there if they need your help, but don’t breathe down their backs when they’re studying. They already have enough pressure on themselves to get good scores; don’t add to the pressure.
It can be hard seeing your child go through stress, especially if it affects their academic future. Be there for them in a supportive and encouraging way. Be sure they have all access to the resources available to them. And most of all, wish them luck!