• Preparing for the SAT I

    According to the College Board, who are the people who compose and administer the SATs, students who have taken more academic courses and who have earned good grades generally receive higher scores than students with fewer courses and lower grades. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you take challenging academic courses and work hard. The SAT I: Reasoning Test is a test of general reasoning abilities, which develop over a long period of time. Hard work in demanding courses usually results in academic growth that is reflected in higher SAT I scores.
    Short-term preparation includes knowing what to expect - how the test is structured, how much time will be allowed for each section and the directions for each type of question. A vital preparation is obtaining and reading the booklet, "Taking the Reasoning Tests - SAT I". This booklet contains helpful test-taking tips, directions and practice sample questions for the different parts of the SAT I, as well as a sample SAT I: Reasoning Test that you can score yourself after taking. It is also recommended that you take the PSAT/NMSQT as a way to prepare and practice.
    The College Board cautions that while some practice is important, it should be in moderation, since in this case, practice does not necessarily make perfect. For most students, taking the PSAT/NMSQT and a sample SAT I and reviewing some additional practice questions are probably sufficient.

    Score Changes
    Students who take the SAT I more than once almost always earn different scores. In general, the average change between the spring of the junior year and the fall of the senior year was an increase of 12-14 points on verbal and 14-16 points in math. While the scores of nearly two-thirds of repeat test takers rise, some decline. One out of every 25 students sees increases of 100 or more points on either verbal or math, while one out of 100 students sees declines of 100 points or more. And, as a general rule, students with lower scores are more likely to see larger increases than students with higher scores.
    The College Board says that score changes are caused by academic growth (particularity true if students are taking a full range of college prep courses) and by practice. Although practicing may be more beneficial for students who have had relatively little experience with other standardized tests or who are not familiar with the SAT, even an experienced test taker could benefit from prior practice on the test.
    Copies of the College Board's booklet are available in the Guidance Office or you can visit them at www.collegeboard.org or call 1-800-406-4775 or 609-771-7243
Last Modified on May 23, 2018