SAT Math Topics: 5 Tips on What You Need to Know

Want to know what are the new SAT math topics? The math section of the SAT is designed to test your knowledge on problem solving, critical thinking, modeling, algebraic functions and using tools strategically. Seems like pretty broad concepts doesn’t it? Don’t worry, this is your definitive guide on the exact SAT math review topics that are currently being covered. By the end of this article you will know what math is on the new SAT, and how to review for it effectively!

SAT Math Review

The SAT math topics are about getting real. The good news is that the SAT doesn’t test you on every single math topic you have ever had studied. Feel free to breathe a sight of relief. Instead, it selects areas deemed the most relevant in college courses and careers.

The SAT Math test focuses on areas that play a large role in colleges and a variety of careers, therefore applying real world math. These focus areas are:

  • Heart of Algebra – create, manipulate and solve algebraic equations. These questions center around linear equations – equations that involve two variables that change as stated by a consistent pattern.
  • Problem Solving and Data Analysis – is all about being quantitatively literate. These questions require you to create and use a model, as well as understanding the difference between the model predictions and actual data collected.
  • Passport to Advance Math – includes questions that require the manipulation of complex equations and functions that are typically needed in STEM-based careers.

On top of these areas, the test also covers additional key concepts that don’t fall into any of the above categories. These include coordinate geometry, basic trigonometry, area and volume.

5 Ways to Review the SAT Math Topics

1. Know how to complete grid in questions

Students are often given advice to learn the style of questions and the format of the test. But what does this mean when it comes to the SAT? In the SAT math section there are multiple choice questions and grid-in questions. Answering multiple choice questions are fairly straightforward – simply select the answer you think is correct.

Grid-in questions are different. These are questions where you are going to have to come up with the correct answer on your own. Don’t ask me why “grid in” is the terms used, I don’t have that answer! 20% of the questions on the SAT math test are grid-in questions so it’s definitely worth your while to understand how they are answered. You are given the instructions for the grid-in answers, but reading them can waste a lot of time. Instead, familiarize yourself with the instructions on practice tests – the instructions are the same. This allows you to spend more time thinking about your answers on test day.

2. Become familiar with the provided formula sheet

Many students breathe a sigh of relief when they hear they don’t have to learn every single formula. But that doesn’t mean you can rest easy. You still need to know when to use each formula. Even knowing where the formulas are located on the sheet will save you valuable time. Have the sheet available during every single revision session and refer to it regularly. Pin it somewhere for you to study on a regular basis – a mirror, the refrigerator, or on the back of the bathroom door!

3. Work backwards

Sometimes it’s easier to start by looking at the multiple choice answers available. You may be lucky enough to rule out a couple of options straight away, but if not, try putting the various options into the equation. This tactic has potential to actually be more time consuming, so may not be ideal for every question, but it’s certainly a good one to have in your bag of tricks.

4. Use the daily practice app

The College Board not only provides official practice tests, but also an app to help track your progress. You will receive a question each day with hints and explanations. It’s a great way to maintain your math skills and to remind you to keep preparing for your math SAT!

5. Make the most of other subjects

It may come as no surprise that you use math skills in a variety of subjects. Because the SAT math section has such a focus on real world math, subjects such as science and social science are incredibly relevant. Apply your math knowledge in these subjects and you are unknowingly preparing yourself for the SAT math test. Any questions that involve data analysis, graphs, percentages, ratios and tables are useful in preparation for the SAT.

Topics Covered in the New Math SAT

As you have already learned, the math SAT covers three main topics, with anything leftover categorized under additional math. This section will give you a SAT math topics breakdown, providing you with a thorough understanding of exactly what math is on the SAT.

The Heart of Algebra

In this section, questions are focused around equations based on real-world topics such as distance, speed, mass, volume or everyday financial topics.
Questions may ask you to;

  • Solve linear equations and linear inequalities
  • Interpret linear functions
  • Answer equation word problems
  • Graph linear equations
  • Solve linear function word problems
  • Solve systems of linear equations
  • Answering these questions may require you to;
    • Use multiple steps to simplify an expression or equation
    • Select a graph that shows an algebraic equation that you saw in Algebra 1 course or Algebra 2. or choose the equation that describes a graph
    • Indicate how a graph would be affected by a change in its equation

You Might Also Be Interested in: How to Study Math: 35 Math Tips You Should Know

Problem Solving and Data Analysis

In this section, questions revolve around the application of ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning. We’ve come up with a collection of more topics and what might be asked of you below:

  • Ratios, rates, percentages, units, and proportions – solve multi-step problems with a given ratio, rate, percentage or unit. You will also need to know how to calculate ratios, rates, percentages and units using the information provided.
  • Table data and data inferences– analyze the data presented on a table and use it to answer questions
  • Scatterplots – select the best equation to fit various scatterplots.
  • Graphs and tables – understand and identify key features, as well as summarizing and evaluating the data presented in them
  • Data collection and conclusions – determine whether data collection methods are accurate and reliable
  • Statistics – determine mean, median, mode, range, and/or standard deviation

Passport to Advanced Math

Students who are interested in STEM-based careers will need to pay particular attention to these type of questions. They involve complex equations and functions, and focus on the following areas;

  • Solving quadratic equations
  • Interpreting nonlinear expressions
  • Quadratic and exponential word problems
  • Radicals and rational exponents
  • Operations with rational expressions and polynomials
  • Polynomial factors and graphs
  • Nonlinear equation graphs
  • Linear and quadratic systems
  • Structure in expressions
  • Isolating quantities
  • Functions

Now that you are familiar with the new SAT math topics you can go ahead and prepare easily and aim to get the results that you need for schools! Always remember that the SAT math exam is only covering information that you’ve already learned. So prepping and taking some time to review the material will help to refresh your memory and remember how to quickly and accurately complete problems in these areas. Remember to work hard and apply yourself, the rest is easy!

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What Subjects Are on the ACT?

Are you in the process of applying to colleges? Are you bombarded by information on entrance exams such as the ACT and SAT? Are you trying to figure out what subjects are on the ACT or SAT as well?

College applications are often confusing and stressful, but you don’t have to worry. Let this be your guide to help you understand what subjects are on the ACT, how it is scored, and a few other crucial tips to success. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming once you understand the basics of each of the tests.

The ACT is divided into four, sometimes five sections – the writing test is optional, so it is important to check as some colleges or universities require its completion. So check all of your schools before you make any decisions regarding the the reading section.

Check out the table below for a simple summary of what subjects are on the ACT.

Subjects on the ACT Test:

English

  • Number of questions: 75
  • Type of questions: Multiple Choice
  • Section Time: 45 min
  • Topics Covered:
    • Grammar,
    • punctuation,
    • sentence structure,
    • strategy,
    • organization and rhetorical skills.

Math

  • Number of questions: 60
  • Type of questions: Multiple Choice
  • Section Time: 60 min
  • Topics Covered:
    • Algebra I and II,
    • geometry,
    • trigonometry

Reading

  • Number of questions: 40
  • Type of questions: Multiple choice related to four different passages
  • Section Time: 35 min
  • Topics Covered:
    • Reading comprehension of what is stated or implied around topics such as prose fiction, social studies,
    • humanities,
    • natural sciences

Science

  • Number of questions: 40
  • Type of questions: Multiple choice linked to scientific passages
  • Section Time: 35 min
  • Topics Covered:
    • Interpretation,
    • analysis,
    • evaluation,
    • problem-solving,
    • reasoning

Writing

  • Number of questions: 1
  • Type of questions: Essay
  • Section Time: 40 min
  • Topics Covered:
    • Various writing skills

How Long is the ACT?

In total the ACT takes 2 hours and 55 minutes, or 3 hours and 25 minutes if you sit the writing section of the test as well this time around.

Now, let’s look at each section in a little more detail. By getting an understanding of each of the subjects, you can better understand what’s covered as well as if this test is a better option for you compared to the SAT test.

In addition, this will help if you feel you need a bit of extra help in a certain area.

English

The 75 questions in English section are divided between five passages that you have to review and understand. This means that each passage has 15 questions related to it. Some questions will be linked to the passage as a whole, while others will be more specific and draw your attention  to a particular part of the passage. It’s up to you to read the passages and then answer each of the questions to the best of your ability.

Math

Quite simply, there are 60 different multiple choice questions relating to algebra, geometry and trigonometry – with the focus in that order. In other words, if trigonometry isn’t your forte, don’t stress too much as there is significantly more focus on the other two areas. When studying, your focus should be on algebra and geometry. A calculator is permitted for the math section of the test.

Reviewing and test prep can make a tremendous difference in your results here. So make the time for that before the exam.

You Might Also Be Interested In: How to Study Math: 35 Easy Math Tips You Need to Know

Reading

There are four passages in the reading section, each with ten questions. The questions will relate directly to the passage, sometimes drawing your attention to a particular part of the passage, and will test your ability to make comparisons, understand ideas, draw generalizations, and determine the meaning of words, statements or phrases within a particular context.

This is an area that makes many student nervous as there can be a wide range of topics in the passages. Some of the passages you might have more knowledge of than others. Just do the best you can with what you’re offered, knowing that all the other students taking the test are facing the same topics.

Science

The science section of the ACT also revolves around passages. These passages will include graphs, diagrams, charts, and tables, followed by around four to seven questions. The questions will require you to gather the information presented in the passage and choose the most correct answer from the selection of four multiple choice responses.

If you have trouble recalling scientific information, don’t worry, you are tested more on your skills and ability to analyze, evaluate and interpret, than you are on actual science-based information.

Writing

This optional section of the ACT requires you to read a small passage on a given topic and evaluate perspectives on the topic. You will need to show that you can analyze different arguments by forming different viewpoints and opinions into a coherent essay.

It’s important here to not only present a thoughtful response but to also present it well. Taking a bit of time to outline what your thoughts will be before you start writing can make this section a lot easier as well as get you better results.

How is the ACT Scored?

At first this may seem a little complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. It’s not quite as straightforward as recording how many questions you answered correctly – that would be really simple! But that is the first step.

Basically, you get a mark for every correct answer, blank or incorrect answers receive no marks. This is called your raw score. Your raw score is then converted to your scaled score, which is a number between one and 36.  The reason the scores are scaled is to ensure results are consistent across tests taken on different dates and in different locations.

Act vs SAT, Which to Choose?

Deciding between ACT vs the SAT is a question that many students ask. And many of those end up taking both tests one or more times. However, perhaps it can be made a bit simpler for you? Look at the additional topics within the ACT test. Are you someone that does well in science? Then taking the ACT test where you get the boost from the science section might help your overall score.

Whichever way you decide to go, just make sure that you create a plan to prepare for the exam and follow the plan. We wish you the best of luck this year as you navigate the college process!

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SAT Subject Test Prep: What You Need to Know

Part of getting ready for applying to colleges includes taking several tests, and usually requires some SAT subject test prep as well. College applications can be stressful, and they can be made even more so by deciding which of the many tests you should take in order to give yourself the best shot at acceptance and success. To many, the SAT subject test may seem like just another to test to take and get worried about.

However, SAT subject tests are a great way to show off your skills and strengths to potential colleges. That being said, they still require adequate preparation. Keep reading to find out how to sky rocket your SAT test prep to get the results your are looking for.

SAT Subject Test Prep – How to Get the Best Results

The first step in your preparation is to actually choose your subjects. The SAT subject tests are the only national admissions tests that you get to choose which topics you will take – so it’s wise to select subjects that showcase your strengths. Check in with your guidance counselor and teachers for their advice, but also make sure to consider these three tips as well:

  • Your interests – if you like something, you are generally pretty good at it. You are also likely to be prepared to spend time revising content and practicing questions on topics that you enjoy.
  • College requirements – some colleges and courses will require you to have completed a specific SAT subject test. Make sure to check if any of your schools do have requirements and what they may be.
  • Your classroom experience – if you have taken the subject and completed the recommended course work, you are far more likely to succeed when taking the subject test. Some schools even have part of the course time spent on covering the tests.

You Might Also Be Interested In: How to Study for the New SAT at Home – In a Week to a Month

The SAT subject tests are offered six times within the academic year, with the exception of Languages with Learning. This test can only be taken in November. The subject tests take place on the same days as the SAT, but not all subjects tests may be offered at every center on every date. Therefore, it is wise to do your research to find out exactly when your preferred subject tests are given and where it’s possible to take them.

You can sit for up to three subject tests on any give day, but cannot sit the SAT and an SAT subject test on the same day. Getting confused? Basically, decide what subject tests are best for you, look at the test timetable, take into consideration when you’ll be sitting the SAT, and go from there. You can find more accurate information regarding dates here.

How to Decide When to Take SAT Subject Tests

Aside from any restrictions due to test availability, you totally have free choice as to when you can sit your SAT subject tests. Naturally, there are many factors to consider, so here are three tips:

  • Take the test as soon as possible after you have completed the course and all the recommended work. This is because all the information is fresh in your mind, and you can get the test out of the way in order to focus on the many other tests you will need to take. The only exception here are languages. That’s not a test to take after one year of studying the language. Keep working on your language skills for a couple of years to really refine your understanding  in order to successfully take the test.
  • Make sure you meet any application deadlines. Some colleges have different deadlines, especially if you are applying for early action. Do your research early to allow yourself time to prepare for the test, take it AND have the schools receive it before they review your application.
  • Check you calendar! Work around existing commitments. Take into account any major sporting tournaments, other tests and general coursework, and even social engagements! Planning ahead is key to allowing yourself enough time, spread your workload across the whole year to avoid any unnecessary stress.

The Best Subject Test Preparation

Every student studies and learns differently, which means there is no ‘one size fits all’ model when it comes to test preparation. However, there are a few general hints and tips that seem to work for just about everybody. Here they are:

  • Hire a tutor – if you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times! A tutor is an invaluable way to get the extra support, and sometimes motivation, you need to to succeed on a test. Find a qualified tutor that specializes in the SAT subject tests that you are sitting. Don’t be afraid to shop around to find one that suits both your learning style and your budget. For a comprehensive list of SAT subject  test tutors in your area, check out Private Tutoring at Home.
  • Make the most of your textbooks – because the content covered in the SAT subject tests is based on the content covered in your high school courses, you can easily use your existing textbooks to review. This is a good way to save money as you don’t have to buy extra any extra resources.
  • Understand the format and topics covered in each test – your tutor will be able to help you here, but you can also check out information on each subject that you are considering
  • Use an SAT subject test prep book – when working on your own, using an SAT subject test prep book provides an easy-to-use and cost-effective resource. They are most suited to students who are motivated and can work independently. So make sure that you are up for the independent study and will put the time in that’s needed for the exam preparation. To get the most out of test prep books, you need to be prepared to go through your answers and figure out where you went wrong. This can be tricky to do on your own, so it is best to use the books in conjunction with a tutor.
  • Complete as many practice tests or quizzes as you can – These are one of the best ways to really understand the format and style of questions asked. They can provide some of the best SAT subject test preparation, but only when used properly. If you simply complete the test (in timed conditions, of course) you will only marginally improve your results. You need to go through your answers carefully in order to understand where you went wrong and how to improve next time. Some independent learners can do this, others may need the use if a teacher or tutor to really thrive.

Preparing for, and sitting, the SAT subject tests should now be a breeze! Use these hints and tips and success is all yours!

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ASVAB Study Tips (even if you don’t have a lot of time)

Studying and preparing for any test is difficult and stressful, especially one where the results so directly impact on your future. The ASVAB is a unique test so knowing how to study for the ASVAB is critical. You need some pretty specific ASVAB study tips to help you ace this exam!

This article will clarify what exactly the ASVAB is and how you can achieve success without stress or pressure, even with minimal preparation time.

As you know, the ASVAB, or Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery Test, is required by anyone wishing to enlist in the United States military service or Coast Guard. It is a multiple choice test that is divided into several categories.

Each military field has a minimum score that you must achieve to gain acceptance. However, in many cases it is safe to say that entrance will be granted with a score of 50. For this reason, you will want to figure out how to pass the ASVAB with a 50 (minimum) to give yourself the greatest chance of a positive result.

This article offers some simple, yet effective, tips and strategies to help you reach your desired score. In order to be successful, it is important to know how to study for the ASVAB, so keep reading.

ASVAB Test Areas

Each of the ASVAB test areas are designed to measure your aptitude and capabilities in certain fields deemed essential by the military. All the content has been covered during high school, so you already have the knowledge required to pass. It’s just a matter of applying the knowledge and understanding the format of the test. The results from the tests help decide which Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), or Army Jobs, the applicant is most suited for. The ASVAB Test areas are;

General Science
• Arithmetic Reasoning
• Word Knowledge
• Paragraph Comprehension
• Mathematics Knowledge
• Electronics Information
• Auto and Shop Information
• Mechanical Comprehension
• Assembling Objects

Some military branches will also use an area called Verbal Expression in their requirements. Verbal Expression is the combined score of Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension.

How Many Questions are on the ASVAB?

The answer isn’t exactly straightforward. There is a difference between to computer-based test and the pen and paper version. The former has 145 questions, whilst the pen and paper applicants have to attempt 225 questions. In both versions, the questions are fairly evenly distributed amongst the test areas so it is important to spread your study time equally.

Six Sensational ASVAB Study Tips

Don’t let the slightly unusual structure and complicated scoring system deter you from sitting for the ASVAB. You’d be surprised at how simple and straightforward your preparation can be.

If you are nervous about taking the ASVAB, follow these points and you will be on your way to success – you might even learn how to pass the ASVAB with a lot higher than a 50!

  1. Plan a realistic study schedule – like many other tests, your results often reflect the time and effort you have put into preparing for them. The most effective way to ensure you have enough time to thoroughly review and prepare is to create a study schedule, and stick to it! The only way you will actually follow your study schedule is to make sure it is a realistic one. Start by making note of all your necessary commitments and then fill in the blanks with study blocks of around two hours at a time, a sufficient study period. You should also make note of what exactly you will be studying during each session to ensure you have everything covered
  2. Practice, practice, practice – this is another familiar test preparation recommendation. The best way to study for the ASVAB is to take as many practice tests as you can. Not only will this help you understand the format and style of the questions, it will help highlight any areas of weakness. If you notice some weak spots, adjust your study schedule accordingly to help you improve. You can find plenty of practice tests online and a great review book is this one!
  3. Perform weekly reviews – allocate a session once a week to test yourself. You can take a practice test in timed conditions or assess your weak areas using other means. By doing this, your learning process will be ongoing and there won’t be any gaps in your preparation.
  4. Understand the format – this is more crucial than learning the content. Make yourself aware that there are points lost for incorrect answers and therefore guessing isn’t always a viable option. In the paper version of the test, blank answers are considered incorrect, whereas blank answers in the computer tests will incur a penalty. Know which format of the test you are taking and focus on its structure and key elements.
  5. Get a tutor – a tutor can help with the content, but more importantly they will help you become familiar with the test format. Using a tutor from Private Tutoring at Home will alleviate the pressure and stress that often comes with both test preparation and test day.
  6. Enroll in an ASVAB prep course – whether you attend one in person or participate in an online version. These courses will guide you through the style of questions asked on the ASVAB and have the added bonus of ensuring your study schedule stays on track.

You Might Also Enjoy: What is the ASVAB Test? Getting an ASVAB Tutor Can Help

What if I’m Running out of Time?

Like most tests, it is in your best interest to allow yourself plenty of preparation time. However, sometimes things don’t work out exactly how you planned and you find yourself with less than a desirable timeframe to work with. Don’t worry, success is still achievable. You’ll just have to tweak your study timetable a little. These ASVAB study tips are designed to help give yourself the best shot with as little as one month study.

  • Sit and take a baseline practice test – if you are short on time, the first thing you should do is sit a practice test in exam conditions (you can get some sample tests HERE). Use the results to help highlight your areas of weakness.
  • Create your study schedule based around these weaknesses and ensure each study block is a minimum of 45 minutes and no longer than two hours. Any less than this and you won’t have enough time for the information to sink in, any longer and your brain will find it harder to retain the information.
  • Follow an existing ASVAB study guide – save time building a schedule from scratch and find a study guide that already exists. Swap the topics around to make sure you spend sufficient time on your weak areas. Alternatively, find a printable ASVAB study guide template to help create an easy-to-follow, yet personalized study timetable.
  • Have breaks – even though time is tight, don’t forget to have a break every few hours to help keep your brain fresh and ensure you retain important information.
  • Don’t waste time learning content – all the content in the ASVAB test has already been taught to you during your high school years. Sure, you may have forgotten some of it, but your limited time is better spent familiarizing yourself with the style of questions asked.
  • Continue to take practice tests – sit and take a practice test every week (always in exam conditions) and make note of your score. Ideally your weak areas will improve and your score will increase. After each test, adjust and tweak your study schedule based on the results that you are getting.
  • Know someone else that is taking the test as well?  Study together and partner  up 1-2 times a week.  That way you can quiz and review and compare how things are going.  It also eliminate feeling like you’re doing all of this solo.  Even a bit of complaining can ease the pressure and the stress of prepping for the ASVAB exam.
  • Once the exam is done, celebrate!  Whatever the results –
    you deserve a little celebration for prepping for the exam and seeing it through.

Our ASVAB study tips are the first step in an exciting, new phase of your life!  Planning as much time as possible to prep is your best move to getting the results that you are looking for.  If time is short, then increase the amount of time you are spending to prepare in what time you have.  Move other things to the side (where possible) for now.

Following our ASVAB study tips and suggestions will help you ace the ASVAB the next time you take it!

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How to Study for the GRE on Your Own: 7 Best Success Tips Plus Guide

If you’re trying to figure out how to study for the GRE on your own, you probably have some questions!  What’s the best GRE study guide and way to prep?

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examinations, offers a gateway to graduate and business schools.  While those entering medical school or law school take other tests, those interested in most liberal arts fields, education, and some business program will be looking to take the GRE.  And like all the standardized tests, the better your scores, the more options you have available for schools as well as financial aid.

GRE Study Plan

But students also lead busy lives and ensuring you have time to focus on the GRE may not always seem possible. So just how long does it take to study for the GRE? The short answer is, however long you have! You can have a GRE study plan 3 months long and some are longer and some are less.

Naturally, the longer you have the more likely you are to achieve a higher score, but there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of success without the luxury of time. This is your guide on how to study for the GRE and how to create an effective GRE study plan.

What is Involved in the GRE General Test?

There are three sections in the test;

  • analytical writing,
  • quantitative reasoning, and
  • verbal reasoning

The test can be taken as many times as you like, but considering there is a cost with each attempt it is best to adequately prepare so you can achieve your desired result the first time around. Your confidence level may also take a hit with each unsuccessful attempt, so do it once and do it right!

Let’s look at the test sections in further detail.

Analytical Writing – this section requires focused responses that articulate complex ideas that are supported with relevant reasons and examples. You must examine claims and evidence, and maintain a concentrated discussion with a high level control of standard written English.

Quantitative Reasoning – this section examines your ability to understand, interpret and analyze quantitative information. You will use mathematical models to solve problems and your basic skills of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis will be tested. You are allowed to use a calculator when completing this section.

Verbal Reasoning – here you will analyze and draw conclusions, identify the author’s assumptions and/or perspectives, and understand the author’s intent in a literal and figurative manner. You will be tested on your ability to summarize text, selecting the key points from the text as well as understanding the structure of the text. Your understanding of the meanings of words and sentences will be tested, as will your ability to recognize relationships between words and concepts.

One really important point to remember about this test!  Questions on the test can be skipped and you can return to them later.  Plus, you also have the opportunity to change any answers before submitting your test. Now let’s move on…

How to Prepare and Study for the GRE

The skills required to succeed in the test are developed over a period of time and not related to any particular field of study. For this reason, preparation is crucial to success. Unlike many other examinations, where content can be revised and learned, the GRE measures your ability to respond to the information given.

The good news here is that you will already have acquired many of the skills required, you just have to put them into practice. By gaining an understanding of the types of questions asked in the test, you will be able to confidently answer the questions accurately. Here are some ways to prepare and study for the GRE that guarantee success.

  1. Spend the Time You Need

Like many other examinations, last minute studying is not useful. The more time you spend preparing for the GRE, the better your results will be. It is recommended that you spend 4-12 weeks developing your skills for the test. This is quite a broad timeframe, the lower end of the scale should be achievable by just about any student that focuses on their preparations. Naturally, spending more time will result in the best outcome possible.

  1. Create a Study Plan or Schedule

Base your GRE study plan on how much time you have. A longer timeframe may mean that you can spend less hours each week, allowing for many of your job and social commitments to continue.

While the GRE should be one of your top priorities, it can be easy to procrastinate if you prepare too far in advance. Breaking your study time into manageable chunks will help eliminate the possibility of procrastination.

Regardless of how much time you have to prepare, make sure you allocate sufficient time to study. Write down when you will be studying, and what you will study – use a schedule, pen and paper, calendar, or even input it into your phone and set reminders if you have to! This way nothing gets missed and you will still have time to enjoy a positive social/study balance.

  1. Study Sample Questions

One of the very best ways to study for the GRE on your own is to complete as many practice tests and questions as you possibly can. As already stated, the GRE doesn’t really require you to learn a large amount of new content, but instead it tests your ability to respond to certain types of questioning. The most effective way to learn how to respond to GRE questions is to do them!

Even if you only have a limited amount of preparation time, completing sample questions is an incredibly useful way to spend your time. Make sure you complete the questions within a time-restricted period to simulate actual test conditions. This will also help you develop coping strategies to deal with the pressure involved on test day.

  1. Make Each Day Count

The best GRE study plan is one that includes study time practically every day. This way you will be able to build upon your skills and knowledge. Studying for a large amount of time one day a week is far less effective.

To start with, your learning capacity diminishes with each hour of studying (just like your muscles become fatigued the longer you exercise).

Secondly, if you have a long period between each study session you are likely to forget what you have previously learned which means more time spent relearning what you already learned.  Does that seem smart?

You Might Also Be Interested in: 25 Study Tips You Need Now

Studying almost every day (it’s important to have a break too, remember) allows you to sufficiently build upon your knowledge and the repetition means it is more likely to be committed to your memory.

  1. Personalize Your Program

By understanding your own strengths and weaknesses you will be able to cater to your specific needs. One of the easiest ways to do this is to sit with a practice exam, under timed conditions, right at the beginning of your preparation period. This will highlight the areas you need to spend the most time on and allow you to allocate your study time accordingly.

Spend more time on the areas you find difficult, or on the subject areas that are most relevant to your educational goals. Your program will also need to be reflective of how much time you have to prepare. If you are really short on time, you may need to choose only a few areas to focus on as you probably won’t have enough time to successfully improve all of your weak areas.

  1. Use Online Tools

In the modern day of the internet, just about everything is at your fingertips. Preparing for the GRE online is a simple way to ensure you are studying practically and effectively.

Many first class, online prep courses come at a cost, but if you can afford it they can be worthwhile. These courses do require some kind of intrinsic motivation in order to develop successful results. If you are more of a people person, try investing in a personal tutor.

  1. Use a Tutor

You may be keen to figure out how to study for the GRE on your own, but using a tutor can significantly improve your results. Meeting regularly with a professional tutor will help you remained motivated and focused.

They can offer valuable tips and advice on how to best work on your own during your other study sessions, whilst keeping you on track with some valuable one-on-one time.

Finding a good tutor can be difficult. They need to not only have the knowledge and skills to teach you, but also understand your goals. A personality match is also crucial – feeling comfortable around your tutor will ensure you ask plenty of questions and are honest about your understanding of key concepts. Check out the following link to find a highly qualified GRE tutor in your area!

Overall, sitting and taking the GRE does not need to become a stressful event. Understanding how the test works, the types of questions asked, and implementing some valuable study tips will ensure you achieve the results you need to take your education to the next level.

Good luck with your GRE study plan and let us know what you did and how to study for the GRE on your own?

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LSAT Prep: When to Take the LSAT & Best LSAT Prep

Asking how łong to study for the LSAT is like asking how long is a piece of string? That depends…. While individual students learn, store and recall information differently, there are some common strategies for the best LSAT prep, regardless of intelligence and learning style. The Law School Admissions Test is arduous and incredibly important for any student wishing to gain admission into law school. While you are able to retake the test if you do not succeed the first time, it is best to only have to face the process once if at all possible.

Let this be your guide to help establish your own personal preparation time frame and what exactly to do with the amount of time you have!

Best LSAT Prep and Study Schedule

When to Take the LSAT – Timing is Crucial

Your LSAT study schedule needs to reflect your own personal needs. This includes working around any other commitments, such as a job, that you may have. Like most tests, last minute cramming shouldn’t be considered an option regardless of how intelligent you are.

However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, preparing too far in advance may cause you to plateau or, even worse, burn out well before test day. Your LSAT score is valid for five years, so make sure you intend to enroll in law school within this time, or you will have to sit it again! This article is the best guide you will find to help you figure out the optimum time to start studying for your LSAT, and how to do so effectively and stress-free!

What is the Recommended Amount of Study Time?

As a general rule of thumb, it is suggested to prepare for the LSAT around three or four months prior to test day. This is based on completing around 10-15 hours, perhaps more, of study each week. It is much easier, and much more effective, to study in smaller, more manageable chunks over a longer period of time than it is to try and squeeze 200 hours of study into a couple of weeks!

Even students with a full time job should be able to spare around two hours on most days of the week. Keeping these recommendations in mind, you will need to alter the guidelines based on both your ability, goals and what you have going on in your world as well.

When should I start studying for LSAT?

While the recommended time frame gives you some idea, only you can figure out the best LSAT study schedule for you. Here are some tips to help you work out just how long you need to prepare in order to achieve the results that you want (and need)!

  • Complete a practice exam in timed conditions: by simulating the test you can work out roughly how far away you are from your target score. If you are miles off you will need to put in a significant amount of effort to reach your goal. If you can achieve the score you need already, then you can afford to take it a little easy. Note – this means a little easy, not ignoring LSAT prep altogether! You will need to complete the practice exam well in advance to ensure you have enough time to revise and review accordingly.
  • Be aware of your ability to perform on standardized tests: standardized tests are unique and aren’t always a true reflection of how much you know. They often test how you react to information, how well you read and interpret the questions, and how calm you can remain under significant time pressures. If you struggle with standardized tests, allow yourself extra time to learn, understand and practice the specific format.
  • Take other responsibilities into account: in an ideal world, you would be able to focus solely on succeeding at acing your LSAT, but the reality for most of us is quite the opposite. Look at your schedule, whether you use your phone to do this or old fashioned pen-and-paper, and take note of all your activities and commitments. There is a fair chance that some of these are not necessary and can be eliminated and replaced with study time. Remember, we’re only looking at a few months here, not a lifetime, so your social life can take a bit of a hit in order to get a great score! Now you should be left with the commitments you can’t change, such as work.
  • Make sure you allow a little bit of time for yourself to socialize, exercise, read or relax as these are important too. By this stage of the planning process you should have a solid indication of how much prep time you actually have.
  • Use the guidelines of around 150-300 hours prep time to work out how long before test day you need to begin your preparation. Remember to factor in your skill level and target scores as well.

LSAT Study Schedule – How to Spend Your Study Time

Once you have established how much time you have each week and have created a preparation schedule, you need to ensure your time is spent effectively. The following tips are actionable and achievable, and will help significantly with your LSAT prep.

The very best way to prepare for the LSAT is to practice! While this is probably very common knowledge, let’s look at the reasons why completing as many practice exams as possible is beneficial.

  • It gives you a thorough understanding of the style of questions that are asked. Many students struggle not with the knowledge required to do well in the LSAT, but with the skills required to interpret and answer the questions asked. The only way to fully understand the test before you take it is to practice, just make sure you are using LSAT study guides and prep books as some of the tools in your LSAT prep tool belt.
  • You can simulate test conditions. By regularly completing practice exams under timed conditions you will learn how swiftly you need to move through each question. It will also help you overcome the pressure that is often associated with test day. You will gain a feel for how much time you should spend on each question. While there are no penalties for missed or incorrect answers, obviously you want to minimize any potential hits you might take in your test scores. It would be a shame to spend a large amount of time on a difficult question (that you may get wrong anyway) and not have enough time to answer easier questions that you could have quickly answered. If you are finding a question difficult after a certain amount of time, leave it and move on – you can always come back to it later if you have time. Even if the time you have left is minimal, it’s always worth guessing as it’s better than leaving the question blank!
  • Familiarity leads to less stress. Stress has an amazing effect on our bodies. While a little bit can be good for us, too much can hurt us and cause issues when doing these kind of exams. If you have spent time familiarizing yourself with the format and layout of the LSAT the you will know what to expect on test day. This will help you perform at your optimum level and minimize any mistakes due to pressure or stress!

Aside from practice papers, there are several other tips to help you achieve success.

  • Use LSAT prep books and prep courses – these are designed specifically with LSAT preparation in mind and offer practice question along with detailed sample answers and explanations. Online courses often include videos, which are like having your own tutor that you can pause and rewind whenever you like! LSAT prep classes are an easy way to ensure you spend your allocated time actually studying – there is minimal time for procrastination when someone is guiding you! Here’s some of our favorite ones that might help you this year – Check Them Out Now!
  • Analyze and review your answers – if you get a question wrong when studying make sure you thoroughly understand why. If you just add up your score after each prep review, you are likely to continue making the same mistakes and you will be wasting your time. Review each mistake carefully and analyze it until your fully comprehend why you got the wrong answer and what is the correct one and why!
  • Get a tutor – group classes are good, but a professional tutor will tailor-make sessions to suit your individual needs, strengths and weaknesses. They will help you understand where you are going wrong and offer valuable advice on how to understand and answer each question. Allocating some time each week to spend with a tutor also ensures that you actually study, and not skip prep sessions. Plus, having an expert help you study can easily cut hours off of your overall prep time since you’ve got someone that knows exactly what and how to help you do well in any areas that are currently difficult. To find a wonderful tutor in your area, check out Private Tutoring at Home
  • Avoid group study sessions – these are different than organized classes with a professional teacher or tutor. What we are talking about here are sessions that involve a group of friends ‘studying’. While these sessions can be useful and may help with motivation sometimes, they can often turn into gossip sessions and minimal study or work is done. Also, individuals have different strengths and weakness so what you need may not be the same areas or issues as others in the group.

Figuring out how long does it take to study for the LSAT and “when should I start studying for the LSAT” are common questions and decisions for those prepping for this test.  Is 2 months enough time to study for the LSAT?  Well, that depends on you and how much you already have done.  The key is to determine where you are now and how far you need to go to get the results that you need.  The do the LSAT prep that is required to actually end up with the results you are aiming for or something even better!

 

 

 

 

 

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Are MCAT Prep Courses Worth It?

Are MCAT prep courses worth it? Well, like so many things in life, that depends.  It depends on you and your motivation as well as the type and quality of the course that you choose to take. The MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, is one of the most grueling standardized tests a student will come across.

The Best MCAT Prep Course Review

What is the MCAT?

The exam is required to gain access into virtually every medical school in the United States and most medical schools in Canada, therefore it may come as no surprise that prepping for the MCAT should be your top priority. Enrolling in an MCAT course is one way to ensure you adequately prepared and ready for whatever may be on the exam this year.

The problem is, there are many types of courses available, how do you know which one is the best. And at quite a price, are MCAT prep courses worth it? This article will help you understand the MCAT and why enrolling in a prep course may be a good idea for you.

While most standardized tests are know for their uniqueness and difficulty, the MCAT is on anther level above the rest! The test itself is administered over 7.5 hours, making it physically exhausting and extremely mentally draining. It is a multiple choice test (this doesn’t make it any easier) that tests applicants on the skills and knowledge required in medical school and when practicing medicine.

The content of the tests covers four sections;

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

A score is given for each section, and the scores are added together to provide a total score that is reported around six or seven weeks after completion of the test.

Test Preparation Resources

There are many test preparation tools available to students to help get ready for the MCAT, some are free and some come at a cost. Naturally, you want to prepare the best way possible, so how do you know if the free resources are reliable or if the paid MCAT prep courses are worth it?

Some high quality, legitimate resources include;

  • Official MCAT practice exams, section bank, flashcards, and sample tests. These are available from the AAMC website, produced by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
  • The Khan Academy MCAT Collection is free and easily accessible to use.
  • Speaking with students who have sat the MCAT is also worthwhile. It will give you an indication of how much time you need to prepare and you can learn from other people’s mistakes!  In addition, some of those that have taken it already might be willing to spend a little time with you preparing for your exam. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask!
  • Using a qualified MCAT tutor. Private Tutoring at Home is an easy way to find a certified tutor in your area, one that can tailor-make study sessions to suit your needs and help you achieve your goals. While a tutor isn’t free, they usually cost a lot less than courses and can offer personalized sessions geared towards what and where you need the help and to spend the time.
  • MCAT prep courses are often detailed and high quality. Some of the popular ones are Kaplan MCAT course and the Princeton Review MCAT prep course. They vary in delivery and cost, but there are plenty of options out there. Keep reading to find out more about these courses.

MCAT Prep Courses: The Details

There are many, many, many MCAT Prep courses available to prospective test takers. Naturally, the people that create these courses would like students to participate and will happily give a ton of reasons and reviews as to why theirs is the best.

This guide takes an objective view on the types of courses available, allowing you to make an informed decision and get the best results possible.

Let’s look at the type and style of MCAT Prep courses that are available;

  • Self-Paced Prep Courses – these are ideal if you need flexibility! Students are given an array of materials and a rough agenda to follow. The course is completed at a pace that suits the individual. The down side to self-paced prep courses is that they require a high level of independent motivation and the ability to manage time effectively. While the structure and content of the course is provided, each student will have to identify their own weaknesses – something that can be difficult to do for even the most dedicated students. Some self-paced courses offer customized content to help cater for individual needs, so if you choose this kind of course, look out for adaptable ones.
  • Live Online Prep Courses – if you like the idea of guided classes, but are unable to attend a physical class, then live online courses are a great option. You still have to commit to the set study schedule, but can do so from the comfort of your own home. This saves time traveling to and from class, as well as needing to carry books and resources with you. The key to a good live online MCAT prep course lies with the quality of teaching. They must be engaging and offer help and guidance both in and out of set class times, as well as providing resources and extra materials to help you make the most of your ‘out-of-class’ study time.
  • In-Person Prep Courses – for a more traditional approach to MCAT prep, opt for in-person courses. These allow for plenty of interaction and discussion with not only instructors, but with fellow test-takers as well. The teacher should offer direct guidance and provide assistance when and where it is needed. The fact that you have allocated and structured study time is a bonus, especially if you lack the internal motivation to get studying, but you also need to spend time outside of class studying too. Make sure your course instructor is able to provide extra study materials as well as being on hand to answer questions and queries in between classes.
  • Intensive Prep Courses – intensive courses are great for those with limited study time and the ability to work well under pressure and time constraints. These courses are also great for those who want a strong boost of knowledge and skills. They are often of incredibly high quality, but are so time consuming that you won’t be able to fit much more into your schedule. Intensive prep courses can also be expensive, but if you have the time and the money, they may just be worth it.

The best MCAT prep course for you will depend on several factors:

  • Your individual learning style
  • Available time
  • Budget
  • And strengths and weaknesses all play a part in deciding what approach will suit you best.

So… Are MCAT Prep Courses Worth It?

MCAT prep courses are costly, there’s no way around that fact. For some, the cost may be just too much to bear, with time and money better spent using free tools (there are plenty of them), spending a small sum on prep books and official practice tests, or enlisting the help of a tutor at a fraction of the cost.

If you are basically motivated and organized, you may not need to invest your cash in these courses. However, if you need structure in your study schedule and allocated class time to ensure you prepare, then MCAT prep courses will be incredibly useful. Equally, if you can spare the funds, you have nothing to lose. The large sum is a small drop in the ocean in order to give yourself the best preparation possible, ensuring academic success and the results on the test that you need this year.

The best MCAT prep course is only going to make sense if you’re willing to put the time and energy into it.  Nothing beats good ‘ole fashioned effort and that’s what getting good scores on tests like this require.  If you are willing to put the time in, then it’s likely that you’ll get a score that makes you happy and be one step closer to getting into medical school. Good luck!

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SAT Math Topics: 5 Tips on What You Need to Know Before You Go

Want to know what are the new SAT math topics? The math section of the SAT is designed to test your knowledge on problem solving, critical thinking, modeling, algebraic functions and using tools strategically. Seems like pretty broad concepts doesn’t it? Don’t worry, this is your definitive guide on the exact SAT math review topics that are currently being covered. By the end of this article you will know what math is on the new SAT, and how to review for it effectively!

SAT Math Review

The SAT math topics are about getting real. The good news is that the SAT doesn’t test you on every single math topic you have ever had studied. Feel free to breathe a sight of relief. Instead, it selects areas deemed the most relevant in college courses and careers.

The SAT Math test focuses on areas that play a large role in colleges and a variety of careers, therefore applying real world math. These focus areas are:

  • Heart of Algebra – create, manipulate and solve algebraic equations. These questions center around linear equations – equations that involve two variables that change as stated by a consistent pattern.
  • Problem Solving and Data Analysis – is all about being quantitatively literate. These questions require you to create and use a model, as well as understanding the difference between the model predictions and actual data collected.
  • Passport to Advance Math – includes questions that require the manipulation of complex equations and functions that are typically needed in STEM-based careers.

On top of these areas, the test also covers additional key concepts that don’t fall into any of the above categories. These include coordinate geometry, basic trigonometry, area and volume.

5 Ways to Review the SAT Math Topics

1. Know how to complete grid in questions

Students are often given advice to learn the style of questions and the format of the test. But what does this mean when it comes to the SAT?  In the SAT math section there are multiple choice questions and grid-in questions. Answering multiple choice questions are fairly straightforward – simply select the answer you think is correct.

Grid-in questions are different. These are questions where you are going to have to come up with the correct answer on your own.  Don’t ask me why “grid in” is the terms used, I don’t have that answer! 20% of the questions on the SAT math test are grid-in questions so it’s definitely worth your while to understand how they are answered. You are given the instructions for the grid-in answers, but reading them can waste a lot of time. Instead, familiarize yourself with the instructions on practice tests – the instructions are the same. This allows you to spend more time thinking about your answers on test day.

2. Become familiar with the provided formula sheet

Many students breathe a sigh of relief when they hear they don’t have to learn every single formula. But that doesn’t mean you can rest easy. You still need to know when to use each formula. Even knowing where the formulas are located on the sheet will save you valuable time. Have the sheet available during every single revision session and refer to it regularly. Pin it somewhere for you to study on a regular basis – a mirror, the refrigerator, or on the back of the bathroom door!

3. Work backwards

Sometimes it’s easier to start by looking at the multiple choice answers available. You may be lucky enough to rule out a couple of options straight away, but if not, try putting the various options into the equation. This tactic has potential to actually be more time consuming, so may not be ideal for every question, but it’s certainly a good one to have in your bag of tricks.

4. Use the daily practice app

The College Board not only provides official practice tests, but also an app to help track your progress. You will receive a question each day with hints and explanations. It’s a great way to maintain your math skills and to remind you to keep preparing for your math SAT!

5. Make the most of other subjects

It may come as no surprise that you use math skills in a variety of subjects. Because the SAT math section has such a focus on real world math, subjects such as science and social science are incredibly relevant. Apply your math knowledge in these subjects and you are unknowingly preparing yourself for the SAT math test. Any questions that involve data analysis, graphs, percentages, ratios and tables are useful in preparation for the SAT.

Topics Covered in the New Math SAT

As you have already learned, the math SAT covers three main topics, with anything leftover categorized under additional math. This section will give you a SAT math topics breakdown, providing you with a thorough understanding of exactly what math is on the SAT.

Heart of Algebra

In this section, questions are focused around equations based on real-world topics such as distance, speed, mass, volume or everyday financial topics.
Questions may ask you to;

  • Solve linear equations and linear inequalities
  • Interpret linear functions
  • Answer equation word problems
  • Graph linear equations
  • Solve linear function word problems
  • Solve systems of linear equations
  • Answering these questions may require you to;
    • Use multiple steps to simplify an expression or equation
    • Select a graph that shows an algebraic equation that you saw in Algebra 1 course or Algebra 2. or choose the equation that describes a graph
    • Indicate how a graph would be affected by a change in its equation

You Might Also Be Interested in: How to Study Math: 35 Math Tips You Should Know

Problem Solving and Data Analysis

In this section, questions revolve around the application of ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning. We’ve come up with a collection of more topics and what might be asked of you below:

  • Ratios, rates, percentages, units, and proportions – solve multi-step problems with a given ratio, rate, percentage or unit. You will also need to know how to calculate ratios, rates, percentages and units using the information provided.
  • Table data and data inferences– analyze the data presented on a table and use it to answer questions
  • Scatterplots – select the best equation to fit various scatterplots.
  • Graphs and tables – understand and identify key features, as well as summarizing and evaluating the data presented in them
  • Data collection and conclusions – determine whether data collection methods are accurate and reliable
  • Statistics – determine mean, median, mode, range, and/or standard deviation

Passport to Advanced Math

Students who are interested in STEM-based careers will need to pay particular attention to these type of questions. They involve complex equations and functions, and focus on the following areas;

  • Solving quadratic equations
  • Interpreting nonlinear expressions
  • Quadratic and exponential word problems
  • Radicals and rational exponents
  • Operations with rational expressions and polynomials
  • Polynomial factors and graphs
  • Nonlinear equation graphs
  • Linear and quadratic systems
  • Structure in expressions
  • Isolating quantities
  • Functions

Now that you are familiar with the new SAT math topics you can go ahead and prepare easily and aim to get the results that you need for schools! Always remember that the SAT math exam is only covering information that you’ve already learned.  So prepping and taking some time to review the material will help to refresh your memory and remember how to quickly and accurately complete problems in these areas. Remember to work hard and apply yourself, the rest is easy!

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AP Tutoring: What You Need to Ace Your AP Exams Now

AP tutoring help is one of the most common areas where students need assistance! Taking AP, or Advanced Placement, courses are some of the most challenging courses available to high school students.  Successful results on the national exam is a 3 or better score (the goal for most students) and requires thorough knowledge of the topic in detail and frequently some AP tutoring as well.

Advanced Placement, or AP exams provide an opportunity to show what you know and what you can do. They come at the end of a usually arduous AP course and can be stressful, causing plenty of anxiety.  These tests are some of the standardized exams that often help gain college admission and over 3 million students will be taking at least one exam this year! Your best shot at success is to approach exam preparation early, thoroughly and with professional help. Let’s learn more about AP exams, AP tutoring and how you can achieve the best results possible!

What are AP Exams?

AP exams are a little more extensive than your ordinary high school examinations. They are lengthy,  cover a range of material and aim to measure how well you have mastered the course content. In general, AP exams have the following features:

  • They are usually 2-3 hours in length. This can be quite difficult to concentrate and focus for that length of time, particularly if you have more than one exam in a day.
  • The first section generally comprises of multiple choice questions. The answers are completed on paper and marked by a computer. You get a mark for each correct answer, but don’t have to worry about losing marks for incorrect answers. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the correct answer will be available to your, the other answer options often closely resemble the correct answer, so you really have to know your stuff.
  • The second section is a free response section.  The style of questions will vary depending on the subject being tested. Possible question types include essays, solutions to problems and spoken responses. This section gives you a good chance to demonstrate your knowledge and you need to learn to structure your answers effectively.
  • Some AP exams are computer-based and others use traditional pen and paper.

Each AP exam covers content that is specific to the course being taught. It is crucial that you attend all classes and adequately prepare for the exams prior to taking the test.

 

List of AP Tests by Subject:

The list of AP subject tests has definitely grown from the initial group that started out in the 1950s.  At the outset of the program, there were only 10 courses that were included.  Now that list has grown to the following all encompassing subjects:

 

AP Tutoring & How to Study for AP Exams

AP exams can definitely be more stressful than your average high school exam, so your study approach should differ slightly. Successful completion of AP exams can alleviate a lot of stress when it comes time for high school finals and college applications. While your teachers will do their very best to prepare you, a large bulk of the responsibility falls on your young shoulders. The fact that there is so much content and that the exam style is different than what you are used to, it definitely pays to enlist in the help of a professional as well as take the time needed to prepare. There are many options available to you aside from a local tutor or informal study group. Check out AP tutoring online options, AP test prep classes and review classes.

AP courses are full of extensive and comprehensive subject matter so it is wise to break each subject into manageable chunks and set yourself a study schedule. Take note of the following advice:

  • Focus on one subject each night. Don’t try and cram your brain full of information. Stick to one subject or topic and focus solely on it, this way you are more likely to take on board the information and retain it for recall later during the exam. (Check out our How to Study Tips for even more ideas!)
  • Be specific with your schedule. By writing down exactly what you will study when, will insure all topics are covered and that you aren’t leaving anything until the last minute or leaving gaps in your learning.
  • Complete lots of practice papers, it’s the best way to familiarize yourself with the format and type of questions that are asked. Have someone, ideally your teacher or tutor, grade the paper to give you beneficial, specific feedback.
  • Constantly review old material. Sure, you have to learn the new stuff, but make sure you revisit topics studied at the beginning of the course. By doing this regularly you are more likely to commit the content to memory and it will save you cramming a ton of information in the final days before your exams.
  • Use an AP tutor to help learn the format and style of questions. A tutor also provides valuable one-on-one sessions where you can focus on your weaknesses and any topics that you struggle with. You won’t be alone in this!  There are thousands that type ‘AP tutoring near me’ each year, looking for the help and support that they need to get positive results. If all else fails, you can find plenty of AP tutoring online resources. 

How to Get Yourself Prepared

Preparing for AP exams is no small task, in fact, you should start your preparations as early as possible. One to three months ahead of your exams is sufficient time, but this will depend on how busy your usual schedule is and what subjects you are studying, some may require more time than others. Your personal expectations and goals will also play a part in how far in advance you should start your preparations. During this time, your preparation should include the following factors:

  • Get the right resources to help you prepare.  That can include books, study guides, AP tutoring help, team up with classmates or take a course.
  • Look after yourself. Yes, these exams are important, but you will be able to study much more effectively if you get enough sleep. Make sure your schedule is arranged so that you get at least eight hours every night.
  • Your diet is also important. Eat a range of fresh fruit and vegetables, and include plenty of protein. Candy, caffeine and sugary snacks are okay occasionally, but don’t make them a regular pairing with your study sessions.
  • Make sure you spend time relaxing, socializing, exercising, or doing whatever it is that you love in order to remain calm and relaxed.
  • And remember, it’s only a test that, while important now, will not be important a decade from now.  So do your best and then let it go!

There you have it – your guide to successfully completing AP exams, and doing so relatively stress free! By following these tips you will be sure to ace the exams and gain the academic success and rewards that you deserve.

 

 

 

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The PSAT: Tips and Tricks for Success

Looking for some PSAT tips and tricks to ace the PSAT this year? The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, or PSAT, is usually taken in your freshman or sophomore year and while it doesn’t have any impact on your college applications, developing some of the best PSAT tips to help develop your confidence and improve your test results.

Why Should I Take the PSAT?

The most important thing about the PSAT is that it is used for many scholarship applications, including the National Merit Scholarship.  However, beyond that, the main reason to take the PSAT is to better prepare yourself for the SAT test that is looming on the horizon.

Structure of the PSAT

The PSAT underwent re-structuring in 2015 and is now a longer test, requiring 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete.

The other significant change is that there are no longer five answer options, there are only four. There are three sections in the test:

  • Reading,
  • Writing and language, and
  • Math

The number of questions on each section are fairly evenly distributed, but the time allocated to each section varies. The bulk of your time is spent on reading and math, and just 35 minutes spent on writing and language.

Now with this information you can adequately prepare for each section and adjust your study schedule based on your personal strengths and weaknesses.

PSAT Tips and Tricks

Now, if you don’t know it by now (and you ought to) then listen carefully…..any test that you are going to take requires preparation.  Do I need to repeat that? 😉  Good!

So now let’s get into PSAT tips that can help you move the needle and increase that score!

  1. Be prepared – Yes, that means reading this, reviewing what the test is like, topics covered and determining your strengths and weaknesses prior to taking the test.
  2. Get help – whether that’s in a study group or working with someone that can help with PSAT prep, it’s going to make a difference in your results.  Plus it will require you to take the time to prepare.
  3. Take a practice test – Before you start actual studying, take a full test so that you know where you stand at the outset.  This will help with knowing your strengths and weaknesses before moving forward.
  4. Set goals – we all do better if we have goals and objectives that we’re working towards.  Achievable goals of 20 – 30% better than when you first took the test isn’t unreasonable (assuming you aren’t trying to prep for the PSAT in three days…).
  5. When taking PSAT tests, make sure that you do it just like it would be done in the actual exam.  There are several reasons for this. First, you get more comfortable with the test taking environment. Secondly, you’re results will be more on target with what you might actually do in the real exam.
  6. Review results – This is critical!  With each test that you take, check and see where your results are improving and where you still might want to spend more time. As it gets closer to the actual date, increase the amount of time spent in areas where you are still weak.
  7. Prepare with SAT or PSAT books – Since there is less available resources for the PSAT as compared to the SAT, incorporate some of the questions and review using SAT questions and resources.  The types of questions and information required will be very similar and can help you.
  8. To guess or not to guess – That has been the question for years!  Now, guessing is better.  There’s no longer any penalty for guessing on the PSAT exam.
  9. Unknown answers – Like we said above, guessing is better than blanks!  One tip to help, if it’s a total guess, guess the same letter for every question if you really have no idea on any answer.  This doesn’t mean if you are down to 2 answers to guess “D” if you think it might be “B” or “A”.  But if you have no idea at all, choose one letter and every question that you find yourself in like that, always answer that letter. Statistically it will increase your chances of a few of those guessed answers being right.
  10. Spend time on question you can answer – If a question isn’t clear or you’ve got doubts, pick your default answer as we said in #9 and move on!  Got time at the end?  Come back to those that have default answers and see what you can do.  But nothing is worse than getting to the end of a test and having several unanswered questions because you ran out of time.
  11. Eliminate obvious answers – Now, we kinda mentioned this above but let’s be super clear…cross out all wrong answers to see what’s left.  You’ll be amazed how many questions you’ll then be able to answer.
  12. Read, read, read, read, read – If you like to read and practice reading you’re going to be ahead of many students.  These tests require reading and the better, faster and more observant reader you are the better you’re going to do.  Is that incentive enough to stop the video games and pick up a book?
  13. Review – take a little time and review basic grammar with a teacher or online.  In addition, make sure to take a little time and review and memorize the basic math formulas that you’ve covered to date.  Practice a few problems on your calculator so that there’s no struggle with it during the exam.

How to Cram for the PSAT –

Yes, you can do that! It’s just going to be an extremely concentrated review using the various tips we recommended above.

Start?  Begin by taking a PSAT prep test.  That’s going to give you your basics and let you know where you stand.  Next, determine what resources you’re going to use to prepare for the exam?

You can find one of our PSAT tutors easily enough to help you cram and get tips that will make a difference or you can use review guides like these in the time you’ve got available.

Allocate time no matter how many days you’ve got.  Every little bit does count and will make a difference.

Incorporate any and all of our tips above into your study time leading up to the exam.  The more time, better focus you have, the better your results!

Ok, we’ve come up with 13 PSAT Tips and Tricks to help you prepare for one of your first, of many, major test taking adventures.  By starting off on this path well prepared, you’re setting yourself up for success not only on this test but on your future SAT test and other exams as well.  So spend some time, sleep, eat and get some exercise and you just might blow by the score results that you set for yourself!  We’ve seen it happen before.

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