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Preparation for the SAT and Life November 16, 2010

Posted by Jason McDonald in : SAT tips , trackback

The way you do anything is the way you do everything. I heard this statement at a lecture on how to build wealth. The speaker’s point was if you slack on something small in your life like changing your car’s oil regularly, you’re bound to approach the more important elements that way too (like saving your way to wealth). We’re creatures of habit. So if you want to change the way you do anything big, start with the smaller items!

Be prepared. Assuming you want to pass, you wouldn’t go into your driver’s test without preparing. You wouldn’t show up to the state finals track meet without being trained. And although you may have landed your first job without much preparation, you shouldn’t go into future job interviews without being prepared. Know the employer. Know your strengths. Know your weaknesses.

The SAT is no different. It is not an aptitude test. It does not test what you’ve learned in school. It tests how well you’ve prepared for the test. Some argue that the test is biased against minorities. Others argue the wealthy have an advantage because they can afford expensive prep. The truth is people that do well on the SAT are those that are prepared for it.

Happiness and the SAT. Let’s make one thing clear. I am not advocating that the SAT is the all-important factor in your success. I’m simply claiming that if you’re not happy with your current score, you can do one of two things: accept it or change it. If you accept it and are happy with your college options, that’s great; stop reading now and go do something fun. If you’d like to change your score, approach it like anything for which you want success; be prepared and use your resources.

Most students take the test for the first time, are disappointed with their scores, take the test again (with no prep) and get the same results. They figure the results are somehow a measure of their intelligence and they accept them. Don’t do this! This is not the way to be successful at anything. So how do you prepare for the test?

Use your resources. Formal review courses and private tutors aren’t the only way. EVERY student who is considering taking the SAT should, at a minimum, do these three things before the test:

  1. Take a practice test online or from “The Official Study Guide.”
  2. Learn if you could have scored higher by developing a pacing plan.
  3. Memorize the directions and formulas.

If you go into the SAT without completing the above, you’ve probably got an excuse or two. Just remember, the way you do anything is the way you do everything. Now would be a great time change that. You can maximize your score. You can prepare yourself for the SAT. You have all the resources you need. No excuses.

The real deal. Of course any student that does the above is going to see positive results and want to do more. Nothing wrong with that! Successful students find that the more they prepare, the more resources they discover and the higher they score!

So if you want to be successful at everything you do, start now. Not once you get into college, not when you declare your major, not when you graduate or even when you get your first job. You’ve worked on homework for thousands of hours at this point in your life. For what? To prepare you for school tests.

You’ve spent TENS of thousands of hours in school classes. For what? That’s debatable, but the most common answer is “to prepare you for the real world.”

Now it’s time to take the SAT.  Use your resources and prepare yourself. It’s that simple. After increasing your SAT score, you’ll be left thinking, “if I did this, what can’t I do?”


1. Jason McDonald - January 30, 2013

Thanks. WordPress works great for many people and I wouldn’t set up a paid webpage until you outgrow WordPress somehow. I haven’t and I do this for a living! You might be better off starting with wordpress.com instead of wordpress.org. You can Google to find out more info on differences but the basic difference is the first is hosted by them and the latter is hosted by you (more control but more to update/manage). Good luck!

2. Sommer - January 30, 2013

Very good blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress
or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any tips? Thanks a lot!