SAT Practice and Lower Scores: A Direct Correlation
Q: How do you prepare for the SAT? A: By preparing for the SAT.
There's a crazy rumor out there that the SAT is some sort of intelligence test. A lot of parents feel as if there's no possible way that their children could ever get a top score on this exam. The way they see it, the SAT is an impenetrable, mysterious entity that tests the overall aptitude of their students. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The SAT only tests one thing: how good are you at taking the SAT.
A recent article in the New York Times reported that the average SAT score in America is down in all three sections (Math, Writing, and Critical Reading). The article made it seem as if this was entirely the responsibility of our failing public school system, and to some degree, I agree. But there's another, even bigger problem: people don't study for this test because they don't think they can.
This ridiculous line of reasoning is perpetuated by the administrative body of the SAT, The College Board. On the back of their Official Guide to the SAT, they actually have the nerve to say the following:
"Myth: Short-term prep is the best way to boost your score.
Reality: Quick prep courses can't replace years of solid schoolwork. If you take rigorous, challenging courses in high school, you'll be ready for the test."
Wow! How helpful. So for the millions of students who HAVEN'T been exposed to rigorous, challenging courses in high school, the College Board's oh-so-wise response is: "tough luck, kid!"
Fortunately, SAT prep works - but it has to be applied! The College Board is right about one thing: you can't improve your scores overnight. It takes a lot of work, and if students aren't prepared to put in the time and make the commitment, they're going to have a lot of trouble with this test.
If you're a student or parent worried about the upcoming SAT, I urge you to do one thing: PRACTICE! Whether you use Test Prep Authority, my free online SAT resource center, or any other source is totally up to you. But please, start prepping as soon as possible, and don't fall into the trap of believing that this is a test that you can't study for.