SAT Tutor: The importance of finding the right practice materials

Posted by Mac Staben on 7/7/14 8:07 AM

Tim Howard

Soccer stars aren't just born that way. They PRACTICE.

In honor of the World Cup, I’ll be writing today’s blog post about the importance of practice in standardized test preparation. While watching the U.S.A-Belgium game, I was amazed by the quality and ease with which every soccer player handled the ball. To them, moving the ball around while sprinting faster than I could ever hope seems second nature. So, how did they get that good?  The right kind of practice.

Since this I typically write about standardized test preparation, I spotted an easily analogy: the importance of practice in soccer applies easily to SAT test preparation. With that said, the goal of this blog post is to expose you to SAT test prep resources, which you might not be aware of!

As a private tutor working in Boston and Cambridge, I have realized that one of the key difficulties of SAT preparation is finding enough high-quality study material. The SAT is supposed to test things that students learn in high school, but actually it doesn’t test your mastery of biology or history. It’s about knowing how to take the test, and practice is the only way you’ll internalize a sound test taking strategy, or quickly spot incorrect answers.

One of the things that caught my eye while reading about the SAT, and working as an SAT tutor, is the abundance of free practice materials available to students online.

Here are some that I like in particular:

1. The Khan Academy plans to work with the College Board to prepare a set of practice materials for the SAT. 

2. Cambridge Coaching partners with Testive – an online software that helps students set up and maintain a study schedule.

2.  Websites like Quizlet (personalized flashcards) have helped me tremendously in learning any subject.

Clearly, the makers of the SAT believe that online providers of education materials like Khan academy are able to help students improve. And, I agree, mostly. I only mostly agree because I have seen private tutors make huge impacts on students: the consistency and structure of an SAT holding students accountable and diagnosing aptitude is as crucial as strong practice materials and sound study skills.

From my own experience as an SAT tutor, working with online practice materials, especially for students who need a little extra practice, can be extremely valuable. In conjunction with a tutor, these materials can help you improve the skills tested on the SAT even more rapidly.

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Tags: SAT