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August 25 2019/Jean Burk/


Do you need some good information to read for a change? Did you know that eighty-five percent of colleges will admit and give money simply based on an SAT score? Deciphering how to read this test is crucial for success since this one exam stands between you and entrance to the college of your dreams. Armed with this knowledge, families across our nation are on the hunt to find a way to get a hold of this golden ticket—a high SAT score.

You may have read that only the rich can afford an expensive test prep program to help prepare a student to excel on the SAT. Programs generally run from free to the upper hundreds to as much as twenty-five thousand dollars. Unfortunately, many of these programs basically teach the wrong information and waste a lot of time and money. Absorbing more information is not the key to acing the SAT. It takes a different skill set to do well on a standardized test.

Stop the presses! The truth is that the SAT measures logic, not knowledge, since critical thinking skills are the only fair way to level the playing field for all students; a 4.0 at one school is not the same at another school since each weigh and calculates their scores differently. The SAT questions are written to purposely misguide and confuse students and often steer them towards appealing—yet wrong—answers. Once you learn the system’s secrets and tricks, your student can beat the test!

Read carefully: Here are some important test prep points to improve your chances for college entrance and scholarship money:

  • Be aware you are required to read, formulate and transcribe your responses in about a minute per question.
  • Best results happen when you focus on SAT-specific strategies that discern what the question is really asking.
  • When you learn to recognize the rules, profiles and recurring patterns on all SAT-type tests, you’ll stop falling for trick answer choices that are appealing; by answering quickly, efficiently and correctly, scores WILL rise.
  • To maximize your score, you can take the SAT up to seven times per year and over several years. Colleges will even compile best scores to create a Superscore from different test attempts.
  • There is no age limit so start early to put time on your side.
  • Know that tests like the SAT, ACT, PSAT and CLT are learnable!
  • Test-prep programs vary in price from hundreds to thousands of dollars and often scores result in little or no improvement because they simply re-teach high school content instead of the logical test-taking techniques.
  • In the Reading section, you have only 1.25 minutes per question—not including reading time. Students can learn to identify all the superfluous and misleading information; how to discern the useful information…and cut their answer-time in half; how to disregard up to 75% of the passage; learn the 3 types of passages and 5 types of recurring questions.
  • Math problems can be answered in 30 seconds or less with very little number crunching by learning the built-in shortcuts. With little over a minute per question, there’s no time to check all four answers. Discover how to spot clues in the questions which point to the right answer; how to test no more than two answers; and how calculator use mostly wastes time (and might increase mistakes).
  • The Writing and Language section comprises of 13 recurring grammar-type problems and students have 47 seconds per question plus four passages to read, but many of these questions can be answered in 10 seconds.
  • You really should ALWAYS write the optional essay. There are several benefits, but one is that it can put you ahead of other scholarship contenders who opted out. It is formulaic and there is a proven template that can yield high scores!

The entire test is about reading the questions carefully with a very critical eye regardless of which section you are in Reading, Writing, Math or Essay. You can’t study for the test but must study the test itself because it is limited by its own design.

Learning to beat this test should start earlier than later. “Time is a precious thing—never waste it”. It is a commodity we can’t get back. Timing can be the killer of opportunities when it comes to being debt-free and YOU CANNOT GET TIME BACK!

You don’t have to read between the lines. Take advantage of the reliable standardized nature of the SAT test; know and take advantage of the standardized scoring rules; find the right program to teach your child how to recognize the repeated patterns in the tests and get plenty of practice; and sit back and watch the positive impact.

You are reading this correctly…your ultimate decision to go to college should always be based on where your passions lie, not the finances. This can be accomplished without a lot of out of pocket money or cheating the system. Stack the cards in your favor by getting the very best SAT score you can. When you do that, you open many, many doors to your own bright future—and with the right knowledge and practice, that future could very well start with a brilliant SAT score, amazing scholarships and even free college.

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