After thinking carefully about what I wanted to do with my life, I noticed that I wasn't on a great path. My kids still needed a lot from me, but I needed to provide more for them. I started realizing that going back to school may be the right idea, so I started looking into enrollment. I found a great program close to my home that worked out well with my budget, and it was neat to explore the possibilities. After I started classes, I was enthusiastic about moving forward with my career. Check out these posts to learn more about throwing yourself into your studies and making your life better.
Imagine this scenario: you're ready to start studying for the SAT, but the giant preparation book in front of you seems like more of an obstacle than a helper. Knowing where to begin with test preparation can often be challenging, and the typical preparatory materials that are available rarely provide much guidance. Should you study every book from cover to cover? How many practice tests should you take, and how often? If this situation and these questions sound familiar to you, then you are not alone. Overcoming these roadblocks may seem challenging, but a few simple tips can help you to focus your energies and get started with your SAT prep the right way.
Start With a Realistic Evaluation
Believe it or not, one of the most valuable tools you have for SAT preparation is your own history. Think back to the time you've spent in school and where you've struggled (and excelled). While you consider your educational history, take a look at a list of SAT topics. Most students are particularly concerned about the content of the math section, but be sure to check out the topics included in the reading and writing sections as well. If you have had difficulty with science or history, then make a mental note of these potential trouble areas.
Your goal while doing this should be to come up with a list of subjects that are both comfortable and uncomfortable. Once you think that you have a realistic evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses, it's time to move on to practice tests.
The Value of Practice Tests
Many students repeatedly take practice tests, treating them as a way to "score" their progress. While there is a certain appeal to this approach, the real value of practice tests is their ability to highlight your weak subjects. Pay attention to both the questions you get right and the questions you get wrong. Compare your performance on these tests to the evaluation that you began with. Were you right about your strengths and weaknesses, or is there room for improvement in unexpected areas? It can sometimes be helpful to keep a list of questions or topics that you find especially challenging.
Focus Your Prep Time
Take another look at that massive book in front of you. Rather than worrying about memorizing its details from cover to cover, use your evaluation and your practice test results to focus in on trouble areas. It may feel as though you have all the time in the world, but adequate test preparation is as much about time management as it is about memorization. Use the time you have to prepare to focus on trouble spots, and occasionally take additional practice tests to ensure that you are absorbing the material that you are studying. By taking a focused approach to SAT prep, you can shore up your weaknesses while ultimately building confidence for the test itself.