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Saturday, August 7, 2010

The MUST knows of preparing for the SAT and ACT

Many parents of high school students are unaware of how to best prepare their children to get into college. Building in time for preparation for college entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT is a critical part of working to ensure your child is accepted into the college of their choice.
It is important for parents to know that a high score on the PSAT is the first qualification for the National Merit Scholarship program. In addition, students will usually only receive college credit for AP classes if they score a 4 or a 5 on the final AP exam. But most importantly, parents should be aware that 25 percent of a student’s college application is the SAT/ACT score. For competitive colleges, a student’s chance of admission could as much as double with each 100 point score increase on a SAT test section. Surprisingly students usually only spend 10 hours on test preparation even though it is a significant portion of the college application.
As a result, selecting a preparation plan in advance is critical.

Revolution Prep (www.revolutionprep.com), a leading test preparation provider, offers the following easy timeline as a guideline to help parents stay on top of what their high school students need:

Sophomore Year
Oct/Nov PSAT
July – Dec. Test Prep
March – June SAT Subject Tests
May/June AP Exams

Junior Year
Oct/Nov PSAT
July – Dec. Test Prep
July – Dec. Ideal time for SAT/ACT
Jan. – June Late time for SAT/ACT
April – June SAT Subject Tests
April – June AP Exams

Senior Year
July – Dec Test Prep
July – Dec. SAT/SAT Subject Tests/ACT
July – Dec. College applications and essays
Jan. – June SAT Subject Tests
May/June AP Exams

So now that your student has prepared academically, what should they do the day before and day of the test:

The Day Before:
Ease up on the studying and take some time to relax. Sometimes getting your mind off the test is the best preparation.
Get together everything you will need the day of the test.
Know exactly where the test center is, how to get there and how long it will take to get there.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Set two alarms – one in your room and one in another room. One should be battery powered in case the electricity goes out.
The morning of the test
Eat breakfast – even if you are not hungry.
Bring healthy snacks to eat during the breaks.
Arrive early.
Leave your cell phone at home.
During the test
Use the breaks to relax, eat and drink to refresh yourself for the next testing phase.
Work only on the section you are supposed to be working on -- you cannot go back or ahead.
Do easier questions first.
Fill in the answer circles darkly and completely.
If you erase an answer, make sure it is erased completely.
Use all of your allotted time. If you skipped a question, go back and try to work it out.
Stay positive and focused.

Day Of:
Now that the advance preparation is completed, the following are some tips for getting the best results on test day:

What you MUST bring:

Admission Ticket
Two sharpened No. 2 pencils
An eraser
An approved calculator with batteries

What you SHOULD bring
A silent watch
Extra calculator batteries
Drinks and snacks (for break time)
A bag or backpack

What you SHOULD NOT bring
Cell phone, IPod, Blackberry
Scratch paper
Books, dictionary
Compass, ruler, protractor
Portable listening or recording device
Watch with an alarm

Revolution Prep provides programs in real classroom settings, online classroom settings, private in-person tutoring, private online “skype” tutoring, self-guided online courses and Hybrid courses that combine real classroom courses with in-person tutoring and our self-guided online course. In addition, Revolution Prep has provided close to $5 million in scholarship money for children who could not otherwise afford test prep courses.
DEAL: Get $25 off any course by using promo code PRB2710 through 8/31/2010.

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