Best SAT study plan?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by robinhood17, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. robinhood17

    robinhood17 USMA Cadet

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    Hi, I am currently a junior. I have taken the SAT once now (december) and my scores are as follows:
    CR-580
    Math-530
    Writing-580
    I didn't study at all (literally) for this test,figuring the scores would be "base" to find what I needed to work on. Obviously,my goal is to raise each section a hundred points or more to be competitive.
    Are there any prep books/plans that have shown great improvement to anyone? I preferably need something I can work on a little a day (30 min during school lunch) and improve for the May test..approx 10 weeks away. I have the blue book,previous and new edition. Kaplan,and underground guide to the sat. I was just recently accepted into the summer seminar program, and I am trying to increase everything I can so I can finish my admissions profile as soon as possible.:smile:
    Any help would be so greatly appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Stephanie
     
  2. d.mcknight

    d.mcknight Member

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    This probably won't help a lot with the what should you study part, but make sure you take the test either at the end of your junior year or beginning of your senior year. Your scores will most likely increase solely based on the fact that you've learned more in your classes. I honestly didn't study a whole lot (mostly glancing through test prep books I had) and mine went up a reasonable amount from the time I took it in the fall of my junior year and the fall of my senior year.
     
  3. Jacobryan10

    Jacobryan10 Member

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    When I was studying for the SAT I did the SAT question of the day. Its a service you can sign up for on collegeboard, and I thought it was pretty helpful. It wouldn't hurt to try it, and they email you the question everyday
     
  4. DK6732

    DK6732 USAFA Cadet

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    Take practice tests over and over. I raised my scores over 100 points just by doing many many practice tests. It helps because you see how they are set up, and when you get into the actual test, it then just feels like another practice test, and not a daunting fire breathing monster of a test. Find where you are weak and work on improving those areas so you can get higher scores!
     
  5. Strike Eagle

    Strike Eagle USAFA Cadet 2015

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    That leads in to the best advice that I can give....RELAX. Don't ever go into a test extremely worried. You need to walk in, knowing that you will do fine, and whatever happens, happens. Trust me, this helps you to think clearly, not overthink, and avoid stupid mistakes.

    Edit: Sleep and eat an apple in the morning, also. :D
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The AFA will take the best score and the fact is some kids do better on the ACT than they do on the SAT.

    You might do better on the ACT.

    Let me make this clear...they will take your ACT and convert it to an SAT score. They will not take one part SAT and one part ACT and convert it to a total score. They superscore each, but they keep each supersocre separate and they take the best superscore for that one type. ACT is better you get the ACT, SAT is better than it is SAT.

    To the OP, I view your question differently.

    It is important to understand the appointment process and to understand the academic life at the AFA.

    SAT/ACT matters, but so does your curriculum rigor, gpa, class rank and school academic profile for that almighty 60% of the WCS. You can get a perfect 2400, due to superscoring, but because you didn't take APs or the hardest rigor and you rank 50% see that your WCS is lower than the cadet with 2200 SAT, 9 APs and ranked 20% at the school.

    I am not trying to upset or dissuade you, I am only trying to make you see the big picture of how PAR works. Maybe WCS should be WBP = Whole Big Picture.

    Take both. The best outcome you get a higher score, the worst outcome you wasted 4 hours of your life on a Saturday morning.
     
  7. kfroller8

    kfroller8 New Member

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    I took my first "base test" SAT in January of my junior year. I then took two SAT prep courses from January to May, and over the summer. My math SAT score was not at their required 560 yet, so I took the SAT for my 5th and final time this past January. My math score went from a 540 to a 630, bringing my total to an 1810. Although it might feel like a lot of work, if the academy is where you really want to go, keep working! It took 5 SAT's, and hours of individual and class prep, but I eventually reached my goal. The Academy can see how many time's you have taken it and if you don't plateau, just keep trying! I also recommend doing as many practice tests as possible. Good luck!
     
  8. supergirl

    supergirl Member

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    if you are going to do a Kaplan, or Princeton Review type class and can afford the extra money do one with some individual - one one one tutoring/teaching. that way you can get help with your specific weaknesses. Many of the test taking companies offer class/tutoring combinations. the classes are fine for test taking stragegies but individual attention goes a long way.
    For the SAT's you are penalized for wrong answers. so if you continually have an issue with a certain kind of a question dont answer it. ds was used to trying to answer questions from school for partial credit and had a hard time with that which is why he probably scored higher on the ACT's: wrong answers have no penalty.
    i also agree with the advise on taking many practice exams. ds took 4 practice exams thru his class. scores went up each time and he got used to the endurance required. he started about where you are and ended up hitting the mean for admitted cadets for SAT's and above mean for ACT's. Class and individual work also helped on the ACT's.

    Other Posters are correct that this is just a piece of the puzzle. used your spring and summer to fill in any weaknesses in your resume - ie: leadership positions; boys/girls state; volunteering that shows initiative/leadership skills.
    just make sure you do things you are interested in not just because they are a resume filler.
    Start working out - there is ussually some part of the fitness test that catches prospective cadets - upper body strength/ basket ball throw / or endurance.

    Good Luck!!
     
  9. kikoman

    kikoman Member

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    When I needed my scores to go up I used the blue college board book and went through all of the lessons in it. Then every weekend I would take a practice test. I also took the online Kaplan course... I feel like it wasn't as helpful as working through the book though. I went from (CR 560, M 570, W 590) to (CR 640, M 630, W 670). Studying definitely works!
     
  10. Derrick

    Derrick USAFA Class of 2015

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    Practice tests helped me a lot. They're tedious, but that's really the key. The content isn't the most difficult thing, it's getting used to the types of questions and staying focused. Practice tests and more practice tests. If you have a book, take the tests, but don't write in them. Find a friend who has a book and trade with them or borrow from them. In my experience as well as from what I've heard, Barron's is the hardest review book. Make sure you sleep well the night(s) before the test. Cramming the night before won't help. It'll only tire you out. A big part of the SAT is staying focused. The reading passages are boring and pretty pointless, so it's easy to catch yourself reading, but not really reading and comprehending if you're tired. People in my room were popping five hour energies prior to taking the test as well.

    You're going to need more than 30 mins to study too. I advise you take the test again at the end of your junior year to see what progress you've made and sign up for an SAT class during the summer if you can afford it. Some say it helps, others say it doesn't. I hated it, but it helped me. Then take it again at the beginning of your senior year. Take the ACT if you can as well.
     
  11. futuremid

    futuremid Member

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    Invest in a Princeton Review SAT Book. It helps tremendously.
     
  12. RyWalk

    RyWalk Candidate-2015

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    I found that I just needed more practice than study, so I took a lot of practice tests, practice sections, and actual tests. It depends what section needs work. To improve math, you want to go over practicing or studying the methods used to solve certain problems. For reading, I found a lot of help in learning the types of questions that are asked in that question, and the approach to have to each one. Like finding the key words in the question that dictate what the answer should be, sometimes that alone can narrow down your choices. You've got a little bit of time to try out different practice and study methods to see what works for you.

    Also, I used E-Knowledge SAT/ACT Prep on my computer. My dad ordered it with some military discount that made it suddenly affordable. That program's good for approaches to questions and practice questions that explain why your answer is right or wrong, but that's about the only thing I found really useful with it.
     
  13. usafahopeful1

    usafahopeful1 Prospective Cadet 2017

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    Practice, practice, practice!! You probably have learned most (if not all) of the math in school already, so you should really just practice the SAT format lots. I'm a sophomore and have been doing SAT prep for a while, whenever I feel like it or get inspired to do really well, which should happen more often than it does. It looks like math is your weakness, mine too, and it might be a good idea to take a practice test that tells you your weak points within math, because there is probably stuff that you don't need to study as much, and stuff that you need lots more practice on. Don't quit studying the other stuff, though, but go over those sections more carefully. Good luck!
     
  14. TAGG

    TAGG Member

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    I took the prep class at my school. That was the only thing that really helped me; I was SO bad at the math. Studying alone was very, very difficult. If you study alone don't just stick with one book either. You can try two or three different ones, plus an online course or two. They aren't usually too expensive. Plus, learning some of the little tricks on the SAT will be very helpful.

    Just don't be afraid to take the test multiple times. Apparently, the average is around seven times. That is how many times I took it.
     

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