Home > School and Learning > By Grade > High School > SATs and Other Tests > Taking the SAT: Improvement Comes in Stages
|

Taking the SAT: Improvement Comes in Stages

Like learning anything else, learning how to take the SAT in the optimal way is not something that improves consistently, a little bit each day. At the beginning, you may well experience some quick gains as you master some of the easier techniques. These easy gains, however, are often followed by stretches where your score seems to remain stuck at a certain level.

Or maybe you start off practicing and your scores seem stuck in a rut despite your best efforts. Test after practice test your scores seem to go nowhere.

Hang in there. If you've been practicing diligently—and applying the techniques I'll show you—you are getting better; the improvement just hasn't been reflected in your score—yet. After a few weeks of seemingly little progress—pow!—your score jumps 50, 100 points out of nowhere.

Consider a skill you pride yourself on. Now think back to the time when you first started practicing that skill. Unless you had a natural gift for that skill, you probably struggled quite a bit at the beginning. Perhaps there were times when you considered giving up. And then one day, absolutely unexpectedly, you were surprised, maybe even giddy, that you could suddenly do what had once seemed impossible.

Frustration is a natural part of learning any new skill. Regardless of the activity, the pattern seems to be long periods of boring if not maddening periods of non-improvement—punctuated by brief, joyous periods of rapid and dramatic gains. Don't place too much emphasis on the minor ups and downs of your practice scores from week to week. I say this because all too many students get elated when their score on a practice test goes up—but then they feel crushed when their score dips a bit. Minor fluctuations in your score don't mean anything any more than do fluctuations in a basketball player's score from game to game.

A warning sign are scores that gyrate wildly from week to week: up 70 points; down 60; up 100. Aim for consistency. Consistent scores over a few weeks are a very, very good sign of major score improvements just around the corner.

|

From The RocketReview Revolution: The Ultimate Guide to the New SAT and the PSAT by Adam Robinson. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

If you'd like to buy this book, click here.


highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

10 Best E-Reading Apps for Kids
Whether your child likes reading fiction, non-fiction, magazines, or storybooks, these top-rated e-reading apps will help build her own personal library and encourage her love of reading.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks