What is the SAT?
Students need strong critical thinking and logical reasoning skills to perform well on the SAT, so our SAT Prep curriculum incorporates clear, step-by-step processes to boost students’ reasoning and fine-tune their approach and pacing. We integrate skill building and review, so SAT prep content is interwoven with test-taking techniques.
SAT or ACT?
Juniors and sophomores should weigh the pros and cons of the SAT and ACT to determine which test might better showcase their strengths. We can help you decide the best course of action by sending us your child’s PSAT, SAT, and/or ACT or Pre-ACT scores. We can provide an analysis and comparison of all your child’s tests scores and administer a diagnostic, the results of which can guide you on the right steps forward.
SAT passages draw from variety of sources and directly test a student’s ability to find the evidence to support his or her answers. Graphs, charts, and other data representation formats – something that might seem out of place on a reading test — are also tested. There is a greater emphasis on analyzing history and social science passages, especially early American political writings.
The SAT emphasizes Algebra skills over geometry and arithmetic. There are no easy “tricks” to apply now that the SAT was revised to test students’ ease working with complex Algebra.
- Calculator use will be prohibited on one math section
- Emphasis on problem solving and data analysis
- Arithmetic concepts, like ratios, percentages, and proportions, are embedded within the context of an algebra problem rather than as stand-alone problems.
Students will need to carefully:
- read word problems,
- create equations and algebraic expressions,
- understand linear and quadratic functions, and
- interpret graphs
Content knowledge is more important than strategy application than ever before. A strong grasp of Algebra 1 and 2 (or Common Core Math 1-3) will be important. While we teach students to reach into their strategy “toolkit” for alternative approaches, SAT math questions are designed to limit the use of alternative approaches.
The Writing section’s format almost directly mimics the format of the ACT English. This is the one section where preparation on the SAT Writing and the ACT English are transferable; studying for one will prepare a student for the other.
Optional SAT Essay
The 50-min essay is optional, so its score will not be factored into the total score. Students must read and analyze a document that expresses a viewpoint, analyze in what ways the author persuades the audience to accept his viewpoint, and construct a written response.
To learn more about the key changes to the SAT: