Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Homeschool High School Preparing for the S.A.T.

My daughter has been studying for the SAT so she can enter a four-year college.  This is a first for our homeschool so I can't say if these resources will work but I feel it is my job to prepare her for success.  Some resources I have bought and others I've found free on the internet.
I've never given her "timed"tests and I think that is her biggest challenge.  I am hoping by creating a SAT study plan she'll be a little less anxious about being timed.
I'll start with the free resources first.
  • Here you can find a vocabulary list of prefixes, suffixes, and roots.  I have had her work on memorizing the list. One study has shown that with 24 prefixes and 14 roots you can unlock the meaning of 100,000 words.  So imagine how many more words you can decode by adding to that list.  This strategy was suggested to my daughter at an SAT class she took at our local library in the fall.  I thought it was a great idea to help with the vocabulary portion of the test.
  • Free Vocabulary has a list of 5,000 SAT words with definitions.  This list could be used throughout high school as vocabulary practice;  write sentences, a story, journal entry, etc. using the words.
  • SAT free math practice has many printable worksheets.
  • At the SAT class,  the teacher told the students to practice, practice, practice the basic math facts as much as possible to improve time and to avoid simple errors. At you can create free printable worksheets on a variety of topics.
  • I came upon this website, .  They offer a free downloadable 8 week SAT prep plan.  The plan consists of learning one thousand words, practice and explanations on all sections of the test, 6 full-length practice tests, and write 8 essays.  She has been working through this plan since Christmas break.  She prefers reading from paper to reading on the computer so this would be the only downfall for her but she's shown improvement on the practice tests so it must be helping.
  •  Ineedapencil has been very useful as well.  It is free to sign up.  There are 50+ lessons on the site.  They keep track of your progress as you complete the lessons.  After you have completed, there is practice SAT test that can be printed.  The good thing about this site is you can pick and choose which lessons your child may need further review and have them complete that specific lesson.  
  • At  you can find many resources and sign up for a "question of the day" which comes directly to your inbox.
Resources I bought:
My daughter loves to write but writing a timed essay on a topic you don't choose and graded by an audience you don't know is a challenge.   I can't say enough about Institute for Excellence in Writing!  I bought this course, High School Essay Intensive:  SAT Preparation & College Application Essay Strategies.  The course doesn't teach the student how to write but teaches the student strategies for taking the written part of the exam and offers lots of opportunity for practice!  She writes 2 timed essays per week and has been wonderful to watch her grow through this course.    

I bought the book, 501 Writing Prompts, to coincide with the IEW course. It has been valuable and has saved a lot of time on my part finding essay prompts.  The book has 501 essay prompts divided into categories:  persuasive, expository, narrative, and literary.  What I like best about the book is it gives examples of a 6 Score, 4 Score and a 1 Score.  You can find free scored essays online but I like the convenience of having easy access to the scored essays so I can compare her essay.  After we review her scored essay, we refer to the examples in the book and analyze how she can improve.

Last but not least, The Official SAT Study Guide is written by the College Board and is full of samples, tests, and SAT strategy. I bought it used on Amazon for about $5.00.

Well, I hope that some of these resources help your highschooler  prepare for the SAT.
If you've found other helpful resources I'd love to hear about them:)

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