The SAT is a critical part of the application process for many aspiring college grads. Colleges and universities use this high-stakes test to determine whether or not to admit a prospective student. If you’re a high school student looking to maximize your SAT score, the good news is that there are plenty of SAT prep services out there to help you prepare.
The Basics of the SAT
Before we explore your options for online SAT test prep, let’s review some SAT fundamentals. The test is comprised of two main sections: math and evidence-based reading/writing. There is also an optional essay section some colleges require. Scoring on the SAT ranges from 400-1600, with the average score being 1060, and the test lasts for 3 hours (tack on an additional 50 minutes if you’re taking the essay).
Keep in mind that the SAT isn’t the only thing that colleges are looking at when they consider your application. They’ll also look at your high school GPA, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, admissions essays, and other elements to get a complete picture of who you are as a student. The importance of SAT scores in this equation will vary from school to school.
For more general information about the SAT, visit the College Board.
Online SAT Prep Sources
There are a wide variety of SAT prep services available that can match any student’s learning style. Some students thrive in a class environment, while others prefer to work at their own pace. Private SAT tutoring, either online or in person, is often the most effective way to maximize test scores. We’ve hand-picked some of the best online SAT prep courses around so that you can find the approach that works for you.
Khan Academy is a non-profit educational resource founded in 2008 by Salman Khan. The site is well-known for its instructional videos, that break down a wide variety of topics, from algebra to entrepreneurship. Khan Academy is the official SAT practicing site, which means the information you’ll learn will be relevant on test day. In fact, students who study for 20 hours on Khan Academy see an average increase in 115 points on their SATs.
The Princeton Review
Founded in 1981, The Princeton Review has a longstanding history of helping students improve their SAT scores. They offer several comprehensive study packages, some of which actually guarantee a high score on test day. In order to be eligible for the test score guarantee, you have to meet certain score requirements. For example, the guaranteed 1400+ score program requires that you already have a 1200+ starting score. The guaranteed 1500+ score, which is recommended for Ivy League schools, requires that you can already hit 1400 or higher. Though these packages can be pricey, they can be a good option for those looking for total immersion in SAT prep.
There are a plethora of tutors on YouTube looking to share their wealth of SAT knowledge with the world. If you’re having trouble with a particular topic, or want to hear study stories from other students, YouTube videos can be a great resource. If you choose to explore this option, keep an eye out for two important factors:
- Be sure to seek out reputable uploaders. Read reviews, check out view counts, and make sure the videos are up to date.
- Avoid the rabbit hole of YouTube suggestions that can easily distract you from your studies. The good news is that the more SAT prep videos you watch, the more your suggestions will be study-related rather than cute cat videos.
Online SAT Test Prep Lessons
While videos can be a helpful way to get the basics of a concept down, the best way to raise your SAT score is to work with a private tutor. This is why most SAT prep services offer private lessons as part of their greater approach to tutoring. Workbooks and pre-arranged lesson plans are great resources for some learning styles but lack the personalized touch that private tutoring provides.
When it comes to finding a tutor, it’s all about connecting with one who fits your own learning style. You can seek out an expert in a given subject, or you can focus on a well-rounded approach to getting a high SAT score. Even if you don’t have any top-notch SAT tutors in your area, online SAT prep lessons make it easy to connect with the best tutors in the world, all from the comfort of your own home.
Let’s face it – achieving your target SAT score doesn’t happen overnight. By putting in the time and effort to study, you’re making an investment in your future and giving yourself the greatest possible chance of making it into your dream school. If you’re looking to sharpen your SAT skills in the most efficient way possible, search for a private tutor today!
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