The SAT test is an important part of the college admissions process. College admissions have become much more competitive than it was when most parents were applying years ago. Your child's SAT score is one of the components that a college or university considers when evaluating your child's application. Because of this, an SAT score has the potential of impacting whether or not they get into the college or university of their choice. As you are probably aware, going to college, and choice of college, can have an impact on their success and earning potential later in life. Because of this, it is important not to take the SAT test preparation process too lightly.
Get InvolvedYou should not leave your child's preparation for the SAT Reasoning Test to chance. You should encourage them to create a test prep plan or you should help them to create such a plan. At a minimum, an SAT test prep plan should be written down and include specific goals and target completion dates for those goals. Space should also be left on the plan for "checking off" or measuring completion. In addition, you should monitor your child's progress against the plan. Be willing to help with preparation if needed.
Be Encouraging Without Creating Stress
There is a fine line between helping and encouraging and creating stress. It is important to maintain a positive and helpful environment so that your child does not come to fear the test. You will need to maintain the "appropriate" amount of involvement to understand if your child is preparing for the test adequately. You may also want to consider helping your child to learn relaxation techniques for when they are in the test.
Encourage Your Child to Take the PSAT/NMSQT
While not as long and rigorous as the SAT Reasoning Test, the PSAT/NMSQT is a good beginning for SAT test prep. It will help your child to become familiar with the test in an actual test setting. Knowing their score may also help to give you some insight into where they need to provide extra focus for SAT prep activities. In addition, the PSAT/NMSQT is required for the opportunity to compete for a National Merit Scholarship.
Consider SAT Prep Courses and SAT Tutors
Preparing for the SAT Reasoning Test requires focus, dedication, and perseverance on the part of your child. There are a lot of things that compete for your child's attention and time such as their social lives, sports, and other extracurricular activities. It is easy for them to get distracted or simply not be able to make the time to prepare as they should. For this reason, you should consider enrolling your child in an SAT Prep course or hiring an SAT tutor. These are good ways of forcing them to make the time and actually study. With these options there is already a test prep plan, the content and outline of the course. The course instructor can also monitor your child's progress and give you feedback on how they are progressing.