Document 227696

 5 MYTHS ABOUT THE SAT or HOW TO GUARANTEE HIGHER SAT CRITICAL READING SCORES FOR YOUR TEEN TRUE or FALSE 1. ____ Memorizing a list of words that have commonly appeared on past SATs is the most effective way to prepare for the verbal portion of the exam. 2. ____ If I consistently get good grades in English, I will certainly get a high verbal score. 3. ____ Most students have all of the substantive knowledge they need to get the verbal score that rightfully reflects their potential. 4. ____ Preparing for the (verbal) SAT is more akin to preparing for an important athletic competition than to preparing for a school exam. 5. ____ Regardless of one’s English grades, the student who possesses a passion for reading will more often than not perform exceptionally well on the verbal SAT. THE FOLLOWING DISCUSSION WILL ADDRESS THE ABOVE: That day is fast approaching. The SAT day. One of six days throughout the year when collectively, over 1,000,000 juniors and seniors nationally will subject themselves to a grueling almost four hour exam that has been hyped up to be the most important morning of their entire high school career! Now, if that’s not pressure, I don’t know what is! No wonder why so many kids who are ordinarily excellent students often receive mediocre scores. Is there a way to get past this brain crushing experience? Actually for the majority of students, there is a way. First off, understand what the (critical reading) SAT is testing. It is measuring the students’ ability to apply their long-­‐term understanding of language. Precisely, this test attempts to quantify efficient reading skills and verbal problem solving skills. Ironically, these skills are not directly taught and practiced in high school; however, they are important skills for doing well in college, especially at the more competitive universities. Therefore, to shatter (MYTH #1), improvement does NOT occur because students have memorized the “right” list of vocabulary, (where’s the”right” list?), but because they have improved their critical reading and thinking skills – skills which are ALWAYS tested on the SAT. (NOTE: More than 80% of the exam is testing reading skills; yet, most students spend the majority of their preparation time memorizing words that MIGHT appear on the test.) Many students can do exceptionally well in school, which is based on rote learning and success over the long haul. (MYTH #2), Good rote learners, however, often have never been taught how to apply their knowledge, which is essential for SAT success. The most important factor for scoring well on the SAT is for students to be totally focused on whatever question they are on. In other words, nothing matters at that moment but the answer to that particular question. Obviously, achieving this disciplined mind-­‐set is easier said than done. In the program, most students will quickly realize that the majority of the test is not hard, it just requires careful reading and concentration. But, why do students so often miss “easy” questions? Consider this scenario: Write your name in three seconds. Did you hesitate? As soon as you heard there was a time constraint, you may have begun to ask yourself such questions as, “Should I print or write in cursive?; Should I include my middle name?”, “Should I write it legibly or in my usual signature scrawl?”. . . all irrelevant issues! 1 Most students have all of the knowledge they need to get a score that is truly reflective of their potential. What gets in their way is the tendency to focus on what they DON’T know rather than what they DO know. For example, a student will often skip a sentence completion question if they glance at choice (A) which is an “unknown”. Meanwhile, the remaining four choices are all “knowns”. What they lack is confidence in applying their knowledge and a true understanding of the skills being tested, (MYTH #3). Students will come to realize that these skills must be honed, as they would hone skills for an athletic competition. They cannot improve on this test by studying in the same manner they would prepare for a school exam. (MYTH #4) Students who wish to be assured of significant gains will learn and practice effective reading skills, (particularly skimming and scanning), be trained in developing better verbal reasoning skills, and learn the skill of “decoding” words by cuing in on roots and prefixes. A final comment must reinforce the fact that those students whose true passion is reading will always do well on the verbal SAT. They are constantly exposing themselves to the language and taking it upon themselves to broaden their vocabulary and fine-­‐tune their inferential reading skills.(MYTH #5). Clearly, a person doesn’t become an excellent tennis player because he had a better gym teacher; a student doesn’t get an outstanding critical reading score because he has had a better English teacher. It is what the student does outside of gym class or English class that will make her exceptional. Ultimately, regardless of level, students know that if they apply the techniques and strategies learned in the BreakThrough Test Prep program, their skills and confidence will improve; consequently, their scores will increase. Don’t you want your teen to get the best scores they can get the first time out? Then find out how programs and services can help them now rather than later. 2