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Studying for the SAT: never too early, sometimes too late

Getting ready for the SAT or ACT is really just about being educated- after all, that is why a college looks at a board score- to determine if your education level is a correct fit. Starting early is easier than starting late:

* You have more time to study, and thus time to skip a day (or week, or month) when you are really busy.

* Learning takes time for the information to sink in!
Allow time for repetition.

* Prepare while you are learning the same material in class.
Let’s say you are in Geometry, and you are learning about triangles; knowing you will see this again on the PSAT or ACT makes it relevant and encourages mastery for the long term rather than just for the next unit test in class and then a quick review before the final. The same with vocabulary; why cram fast the night before just to get the A? Rather, you will need to know these words: review every day before the test, then cram if you need to, but then review them again everyday for the week after the test. Really know the words and use them so you learn them.

*Sign up on for the question of the day.
You can do this even if you are in fifth or sixth grade. Each day the question has answers and explanations. So, you may learn a little, but more likely, you will recognize topics more readily in class because you have been primed- you have seen it before. This “memory” helps so much when learning. The questions are emailed to you daily, so it is an easy way to get used to how questions are asked on the test. And it is free.

*Begin studying by the middle of Algebra I
By end of freshman year (or earlier if you take Algebra 1 early) purchase good review materials and do a little each week or month. Remember, it is easier to reinforce what you have learned recently than to learn something all over again- and it will help with your school grades. For in depth explanations, look at my DVDs on
Finally, if you feel overwhelmed, remember that you want to go to a college that will work for you. Your scores reflect what you’ve learned more than your ability- if you haven’t learned it all yet, you can find a college that will fill in what you need to know, and will present material in a way that is best for you.

All the best!

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  • Author comment by LynnScully · March 24, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I will address your question soon! Thanks for asking-

  • Mary · March 21, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I recently purchased your Sat prep program for my son Joseph and was blown away after reviewing the contents. I can’t believe how comprehensive, thorough, and easy to follow everything is. Joseph has already watched the “Getting Started” dvd, a few math sections, and done some pyramid vocabulary–I’ve even learned a few new words myself. After hearing from friends about their children’s preparation, I felt a little stressed, but after watching the “Getting Started” dvd I felt so at ease–even Joseph said “Mrs. Scully seems pretty cool”. We’ve only just begun, but so far it’s been easy and fun preparing for the SAT’s. I’ll let you know how he is doing a month from now!!! Great blog, keep it up!

  • Krystle · March 20, 2010 at 2:34 am

    Although I agree that it is important to begin preparing for the SATs as early as possible my son is not motivated to study. Do have any suggestions for ways that I can encourage him to begin preparing for them? Thanks!

  • Patty · March 19, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Great points you’ve made — I’m passing them on to my kids who are “coming up soon” to PSATs. Keep up the blog — I will be visiting frequently.

  • Kim · March 19, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Hi Lynn, Well I made it. Great information about tests being offered seasonally. BTW – I love the sticky notes. Kim

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