It’s tough to be a rising junior this year. Taking the SAT is stressful enough. Studying for one SAT only for the SAT to switch to a new format of the exam in the spring adds to a super stressful year. For students who took the SAT this past spring and want to see if they can get that score up, they’ll get a couple more cracks at it in the fall. And we encourage these students to take advantage of these additional, final opportunities. Because the prep work that must be done for the old SAT is not the same as the prep work that must be done for the new SAT.
One advantage for students who’ve been prepping for the old SAT is that they’ve got real SATs — as in previous administrations of the exam — to practice with under timed conditions. Students who will be taking the new SAT don’t have this advantage. Companies can make all of the practice questions that they want but these practice questions aren’t the real thing. We always encourage our students to take previous administrations of the exams under timed conditions on a Saturday or Sunday morning (or on any morning over the summer, frankly).
There are lots of tricks to the SAT. We tutor students at Ivy Coach on both the old SAT and the new SAT. But regardless of whether you use our SAT tutoring or another company’s SAT tutoring, we strongly encourage you to take real tests under timed conditions. It’s the best thing you can do. Your SAT score, in the end, shouldn’t be a surprise to you…not if you took real practice tests leading up to the exam. In our experience, it’s the very best strategy.
And if you’re considering the ACT, well, this is the year of the ACT. Mark our words.