The SAT is a nationally standardized test aimed at measuring a kid’s readiness for college. The test looks at critical skills like the clarity of expression, computational ability, and reading comprehension.
The result of an individual’s SAT is provided to schools so they’ll have an idea of how a student compares to his/her peers.
According to some of the most recent reports in the US, the homeschooled students in the country are around 1.7 million. If you’re a parent with a child who’s part of the 3.4% of the population who have been educated at home, then you are now probably thinking about the SAT: your child’s passport to college.
This post will cover everything you have to know about the SAT and how to effectively help your kid with his/her SAT prep before taking the test. Read on below to learn more.
Which Colleges and Universities Require the SAT for admission?
Technically, all institutions in the US that offer 4-year courses require the SAT as a basis for admission of students. However, the number of schools implementing flexible admission policies is also increasing, so it would be helpful to check with the specific universities that you’re targetting for your child’s college education. You also have to note that if your kid wants to be admitted to schools in Canada or the UK, the SAT would still be a requirement.
What Questions Can You Expect From the SAT?
The SAT covers four sections, together with an optional essay. Here are the different parts that you can expect from the test:
Writing and Language
If you have a homeschool student who’s gearing up for the SAT, here are essential things to keep in mind throughout the whole duration of your preparation.
Guide Your Kid Every Step of The Way
One of the biggest challenges that homeschooled kids face when taking the SAT is their lack of experience with standardized tests. Most students who are in the traditional schooling setup have received plenty of standardized tests since their grade school years. By the time regular high school students take the SAT, they’re already familiar with the techniques and strategies to use. Homeschooled kids won’t have any access to institutional knowledge, so when it comes to learning the details, rules, regulations, finding the dates, and test centers, you’ll have to guide your child at every step of the way.
Finding out the areas that need working out on your child
There are free practice tests online that your homeschool student can take so you can tell which areas he/she needs to work on improving. Figuring the weaknesses of your child can help you narrow everything down to specific questions that should be included more in your child’s study and practice plan.
Below are some tips for topics to tackle in helping your child to improve a particular area that the test covers.
Math skills – Math is one of the sections that the SAT covers. If your child finds it hard to answer math questions, then it would help a lot if you start helping him/her review on Math topics like trigonometry, geometry, and algebra. There are tons of quizzes and practice problems that can be found online. There are calculators like derivative calculators, polynomial equation calculators, absolute value equations, matrix equation calculators, etc, that your student will be able to use to find step by step instructions.
English language skills – The SAT also assess the English language skills of a student. If you identify this section as your child’s weakness, then prepare your student by encouraging him/her to read higher-level texts, reviewing word etymology, building vocabulary, refreshing grammar, and taking English language practice tests.
Science skills – Science is another section that the SAT covers. The disciplines that you should include in your homeschool student’s study plan are meteorology, geology, chemistry, physics, and biology.
Making the study routine fun and engaging
Creating games as part of the SAT prep process of your kid goes a long way in keeping his/her attention. You can also incorporate a daily reward system every time your child accomplishes something at home. Give him/her a reward for helping you organize his/her stuff and build a study plan for the day. These little things that make the learning process fun and engaging will develop and maintain momentum until the test day comes.
Supplement your child’s test prep with a prep course or program
If you want to take some work and stress off your shoulders, then you should consider investing in an excellent test prep course for your homeschool student. These SAT prep programs will diagnose the weaknesses and strengths of your kid, customize a study plan for him/her, track his/her progress, and conduct a more accurate review of the sections that the test covers. However, despite all the benefits that a test prep course can bring to the table, note that it would still be your responsibility to guide your child and keep him/her motivated through the whole preparation process.
The vast majority of schools in the US require the SAT for admission purposes. Performing well on SAT would open up many opportunities for your child. Without a GPA to show how academically strong your homeschool student is, the only indicator of his/her ability that colleges and universities have is his/her standardized test result. The things mentioned above should guide you in helping your child prepare for the test and get a higher chance of achieving an excellent result.