MALIBU, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 09/07/12 -- With summer coming to a close, high school students across the nation will shift their focus to the start of the school year. For many, that also means the college application process. One critical component of college admissions is a single test: the SAT. To help students prepare for the exam, Veritas Prep, the largest global provider of test prep and admissions consulting services, has outlined the five biggest SAT prep mistakes students should avoid.
Mistake #1: Assuming that high school English and math classes sufficiently prepare you for the SAT
Reality - The average high school curriculum is not structured to prep you for standardized college entrance exams. For example, how often in school are you tested on idioms and sentence completion or given a multiple choice algebra test? The answer: almost never. But SAT questions are written that way. To excel on the exam, students must prepare specifically for the SAT.
Mistake #2: Thinking that completing an SAT prep course is all you need to do to achieve optimal results on the SAT
Reality - There is no quick and easy path to a high SAT score -- to achieve the best possible results, students must be willing to put in significant time and effort to study for the test. While a prep course can offer a considerable edge by helping students learn SAT-specific strategies and techniques and build the skills the exam seeks to measure, seat time in a prep class is not enough. Students must apply the knowledge gained in an SAT prep course to solving sample questions, doing vocabulary-building exercises and taking practice tests.
Mistake #3: Preparing with third-party practice SAT questions
Reality - Students should prepare for the SAT using questions produced by the College Board, the organization that creates the exam. Official College Board practice tests are the most accurate and reliable practice materials available. Only the College Board can offer genuine SAT practice questions that are guaranteed to stay consistent with future SAT exams. Don't settle for second-rate, third party practice questions. Students can download a free College Board SAT practice test on the Veritas Prep website.
Mistake #4: Looking at answer choices before coming up with your own solution
Reality - The SAT is designed to fool unsure students. Students can avoid this issue by physically covering answer choices from sight using their hand. This helps students avoid being enticed by incorrect answer choices that SAT test writers have created as traps. Instead, students should WYPAD (Write Your Personal Answer Down) prior to looking at the answer choices. This gives students a concrete answer to look for without being distracted.
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