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How far back did you start prepping for PSAT/SAT, and what did you do?

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I didn't worry at all about the PSAT or SAT/ACT until 10th grade. Then my younger two took it cold (just having completed the practice test given them in the book when I signed them up).


The spring/summer between sophomore and junior year we ramp it up looking for gaps to fill. We use Prep books.


I did have mine start the SAT Question of the Day (free at collegeboard.com) in 9th grade.


Otherwise, I tried to make certain their vocab, reading, and math skills were up just with normal homeschooling. They learn more that way rather than just trying to learn for the test.


Oldest got top 3% on the ACT (and didn't do much with prep books in spite of what I wanted).


Middle got top 1%.


Youngest will not do as well, but that's partially because he's opted for ps and ours is LOW. He also doesn't have to do as well to succeed in his chosen field. Afterschooling helps, but it doesn't replace a lower overall education.

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We do the same--practice PSAT before 11th, practice SAT spring/summer before junior year.

Ds took the Oct SAT for practice, and was happy with his score so he is done with testing. It is really nice not having to squeeze in SAT prep throughout the junior year. Try testing in October--you too may be happy with the results.

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I had my daughter take a practice SAT (at home) at the beginning of 9th, 10th, and 11th grades. This was to get a baseline as to her strengths and weaknesses and to see if there were any gaps that we needed to address. It was also a good method of having her become familiar with the test.


I also had her do a practice ACT at the beginning of 10th grade to see which test best revealed her abilities.


I did have mine start the SAT Question of the Day (free at collegeboard.com) in 9th grade.


We did this, too. My daughter reads voraciously and did no formal vocabulary program other than cruising through Vocabulary Cartoons for an out of the home writing class.


In 11th grade, prior to taking the PSAT, she went through Chalkdust's SAT math review set.




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In 10th grade ds.1 took it because he needed it to get admitted into AP classes online. He prepped using the College Board's Blue book. Later with more preparation using Barron's and a Math Prep book he took it again in 11th grade. But with ds. 2 I think I'll need to start prepping in 9th grade because he'll need it. Each child is so different. But any kid will benefit from some prep in weaker areas. Ds.1 did hardly any prep for Critical Reading. He has always been naturally gifted at this.

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1) Like others, my kids started the SAT questions of the day in 9th.


2) Otherwise, we just focused on giving the kids a strong academic foundation. Then the summer before junior year we have the kids crack open the prep books.


Prepping takes time, and in earlier years I think the time is much more fruitfully spent actually focusing on "real" academics.

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