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How to Prepare for the New SAT I

Jan 9, 2008
The SAT I has changed in the past couple of years. As of 2005 the test has increased in length by 45 minutes so that it's now 3 hours 45 minutes long. The other main change was in the amount of sections to be completed. The new SAT I has 3 sections with the addition of a writing section. This means that the SAT I now contains Math, Critical Reading and Writing sections. The total possible score for the test is 2400 points with 800 points being possible in each of the three sections.

When preparing for the test the first thing to accept is that although the SAT I is now longer, and contains an additional section it doesn't mean that it's any more difficult to pass. It's actually a little easier to understand because the reading section has been changed so that it's easier to understand what they want from you.

You may find that the Math paper is more difficult than it is in any of the practice SAT I that you have taken, but as it's still in line with 10th/11th grade math so you shouldn't have a problem with it. If you make sure that you are familiar with the math formulas and have a good understanding of how math problems are worded, you'll be well prepared to take this section of the paper.

For the new writing section you're going to need to know the difference between various words so that you can use them correctly. Although you may be familiar with their meaning and are able to correctly identify words and meanings in the reading section, in the writing section you're going to have to choose the right form of the word in the right context. Make sure you know your adverbs from your adjectives and when to use which for example.

One of the simplest forms of preparation you can do for the SAT I is to improve your handwriting skills. You're going to be required to write in essay format and if your writing is illegible even the best essay in the school is going to be failed because the examiner won't be able to read it. If your script writing isn't clear, learn how to print it so that each word is clearly formed and the examiner will have no difficulty in understanding what you're saying.

Learn some relaxation breathing techniques that you can practice if you start getting stressed out in the days leading up to the SAT I, but the most important thing that you should remember is that your entire college application process isn't resting on this one test.

Your overall academic ability from the past 4 years is going to be assessed by any college you apply to and although your SAT I score is going to be an important factor in whether or not you have the right skills to gain a place in your first choice, it's not the only factor.

It's therefore important not to only focus on the SAT elements, but also to have good rounded academic level throughout the years leading up to the test and then you'll place yourself in a good position to be considered at the college of your choice without putting too much pressure on yourself to perform well at the SAT.
About the Author
Jane Saeman runs an In-Home Tutoring service called Aim High Tutors. Find out about how to help your student reach their full potential at http://www.aimhightutors.com/blog
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