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How difficult is it to raise your SAT score by say 90-100 points? 

If ds could take it again and raise it, he could get $2500 more a year on his scholarship, so $10,000 over the four years. He has never been a stellar test taker, so we were pleased he scored enough to get some money to help with school. And more would be nice! 

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1 hour ago, freesia said:

Has he done much prep?  I think it is very doable to raise it that much. I recommend Khan academy and maybe a test prep book with test taking tips. 

He did some prep using Khan and a couple of paper practice tests. He really didn't do as much as I would have liked. I would consider a tutoring center here as well. 

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13 minutes ago, mom31257 said:

He did some prep using Khan and a couple of paper practice tests. He really didn't do as much as I would have liked. I would consider a tutoring center here as well. 

Then I think it’s very likely he can raise it ( unless maybe we are talking about going from a 700-800 bc scores within there can vary widely by one missed problem bc of the curve). I would have him on Khan every weekday for up to an hour and have him always read why he got the problem wrong. I would also do several of the practice tests and also do problem analysis. 

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I think it is definitely doable, especially if the student didn't prep much prior to the first test.  My ds was able to raise his sat 100+ points from first test to second test.  Prior to the first exam he had done some prep with Khan Academy.  In between the two exams he did an SAT Prep class with Mr D Math, worked through the Princeton Review SAT Prep book, and did several practice exams.  

Do you have a ballpark idea of what you think he's realistically capable of scoring?  My son's first test score was below what I though he was capable of (based on my realistic assessment of him after homeschooling for 10+ years, not a pipe dream!), so that was strong motivation to push the extensive test prep and having him take it a second time.

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The black book section on commas raised my daughter's score on the English portion of the ACT 5 to 6 points.

My son does better on the SAT, the black book for it has similar good, targeted instruction.

https://www.amazon.com/SAT-Prep-Black-Book-Strategies/dp/0692916164/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=1VSM1ZZI6Y4Q8&dchild=1&keywords=sat+black+book&qid=1611776217&sprefix=sat+black+%2Caps%2C205&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzQVJZTUxIS1FHNTFWJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwODQzNDM4QzJMWENPTUVRMkowJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA3OTA1NzcyWDlZNTMxVUw0Q1FMJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

It's also best to buy a book for the practice tests, cheaper and easier than printing them out once you do more than 2. I break the binding and tear them out.

My son did PrepScholar last year, it raised his score 150 points, it costs $399. If my daughter would have done it, she likely could have had additional scholarship $, she started prepping late. She did get some merit $ from her scores, and her English score got her out of both mandatory freshman courses, which is saving both time and $.

https://www.prepscholar.com/sat/l/camp_prep_sat?msclkid=eef3aa607d031ef062efca6e7919acaf&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=V1 Prepare SAT&utm_term=sat prep&utm_content=Exact 1

With a combination of the Black Book and PrepScholar, you should be able to do it.

@lewelma has good advice somewhere about how she approached the SAT with a bonus student and with her son to maximize scores. She had interesting advice for the reading section, or maybe it was @Lori D. a plan to approach each reading section, it started with answering all the fact based questions for a passage, there was a specific order so that by the time you got to the ones that needed an overall understanding of the passage, you could have an idea about that without reading the whole thing.

Edited by ElizabethB
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38 minutes ago, ElizabethB said:

 

@lewelma has good advice somewhere about how she approached the SAT with a bonus student and with her son to maximize scores. She had interesting advice for the reading section,

The key is to do the reading section like a lawyer.  There is only ONE answer.  They use all sorts of squishy words to make you think it is some sort of analysis.  But there is often just one word that will be wrong, to throw an answer out.  You need to do the test, and then for anything you get wrong, you need to understand why the answer you chose has words in the text that proves it is wrong.  You are NOT interpreting.  It is not like what you have been taught in English to do.  It is a multiple choice test so there must be one correct answer that can be clearly demonstrated by specific words in the test, otherwise people would argue and it would be a legal nightmare for a private company with this type of power. Once my older boy understood this, his reading/language score went from 690 to 780.

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Just now, lewelma said:

The key is to do the reading section like a lawyer.  There is only ONE answer.  They use all sorts of squishy words to make you think it is some sort of analysis.  But there is often just one word that will be wrong, to throw an answer out.  You need to do the test, and then for anything you get wrong, you need to understand why the answer you chose has words in the text that proves it is wrong.  You are NOT interpreting.  It is not like what you have been taught in English to do.  It is a multiple choice test so there must be one correct answer that can be clearly demonstrated by specific words in the test, otherwise people would argue and it would be a legal nightmare for a private company with this type of power. Once my older boy understood this, his reading/language score went from 690 to 780.

That makes sense.

Both the SAT black book and the PrepScholar software walk you through specific types of questions based on this and why the one answer is right, coming at the same thing from another direction. The other prep books are more vague and unfocused, not focusing on patterns and why.

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9 hours ago, mom31257 said:

How difficult is it to raise your SAT score by say 90-100 points? 

If ds could take it again and raise it, he could get $2500 more a year on his scholarship, so $10,000 over the four years. He has never been a stellar test taker, so we were pleased he scored enough to get some money to help with school. And more would be nice! 

My older boy raised his score by 90 points with about 30 hours of solid effort from 1490 to 1580. He did 8 practice tests and critically analyzed each. He also went through all the official grammar rules to make sure he knew them all.

The kid I tutored increased her official score from 930 to 1190 with 6 months of effort, not consistently applied (she did get a 1250 on the last practice test she took, but choked a bit on the real one). She probably averaged 5 hours per week of real effort so 120 hours. 

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5 hours ago, freesia said:

Then I think it’s very likely he can raise it ( unless maybe we are talking about going from a 700-800 bc scores within there can vary widely by one missed problem bc of the curve). I would have him on Khan every weekday for up to an hour and have him always read why he got the problem wrong. I would also do several of the practice tests and also do problem analysis. 

I should have said he made a 1220. (620 reading/language/600 math). He is a nervous test taker and slower to process things. He hasn't been a huge recreational reader, so I feel his vocabulary is just normal. 

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With good scores like that, I think he'd benefit from PWN the SAT Math Guide and Erica Meltzer's books for SAT reading and grammar. They're geared to students who are already scoring well but want to up their score to be competitive for highly selective schools or scholarships.

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19 minutes ago, mom31257 said:

I should have said he made a 1220. (620 reading/language/600 math). He is a nervous test taker and slower to process things. He hasn't been a huge recreational reader, so I feel his vocabulary is just normal. 

The McGuffey readers are a good way to build up vocabulary and practice reading different genres. They gradually increase in difficulty, have interesting vocabulary because they are old. Read a few passages a day. Word root study is also good for quickly building up vocabulary--I've actually found with my remedial students that playing word root bingo is faster than any program, they are paying attention (even jr. High and high school students) more and interested, I read words and definitions while they are looking up the word on their card. I have a document you can read already made as part of my root bingo.

Links 2 to 4 in the teacher section of my syllables page.

http://thephonicspage.org/On Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

Here is a link to the PDF of the McGuffey 4th reader, 4th is a good place to start. You want the 1879 Blue and Orange cover versions, you can use the PDFs if you like but the reprints are not that pricey usually. Even the easier passages have interesting vocabulary. You read through, try to guess the words from context, then read the definitions after, for max vocab learning.

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/14880/14880-pdf.pdf

You can also get a kindle version.

https://www.amazon.com/McGuffeys-Fourth-Eclectic-Illustrated-Readers-ebook/dp/B00HXXP1XI/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=mcguffey+4th+eclectic+reader&qid=1611785477&sr=8-3

 

Edited by ElizabethB
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21 hours ago, ElizabethB said:

Both the SAT black book and the PrepScholar software walk you through specific types of questions based on this and why the one answer is right, coming at the same thing from another direction. The other prep books are more vague and unfocused, not focusing on patterns and why.

We loved Prep Scholar with my sister. It raised her score a bunch. 

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Seconding what everyone is saying. But also, the boost from the 1200's to the 1300's tends to be easier than the boost from, say, the 1400's to the 1500's for a lot of students. So I'd say it's probably worth the effort if he has a guaranteed scholarship tied to it.

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20 hours ago, mom31257 said:

I should have said he made a 1220. (620 reading/language/600 math). He is a nervous test taker and slower to process things. He hasn't been a huge recreational reader, so I feel his vocabulary is just normal. 

My DS15 didn’t prep for his first try and he has a slower processing speed. He is however more annoyed with test taking than nervous. 


He went from 620/650 (Nov 2016) to 730/790 (June 2017). He mainly boost his speed so he could complete all questions on the 2nd attempt. 

He read mainly technical books and articles. His reading subscore went from 30 to 34 and the writing and language subscore went from 32 to 39. I think his grammar skills helped him.

Would more practice help his test anxiety? 

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5 hours ago, Arcadia said:

My DS15 didn’t prep for his first try and he has a slower processing speed. He is however more annoyed with test taking than nervous. 


He went from 620/650 (Nov 2016) to 730/790 (June 2017). He mainly boost his speed so he could complete all questions on the 2nd attempt. 

He read mainly technical books and articles. His reading subscore went from 30 to 34 and the writing and language subscore went from 32 to 39. I think his grammar skills helped him.

Would more practice help his test anxiety? 

I think he has less anxiety now that he has taken it and got a scholarship. 

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3 hours ago, mom31257 said:

I think he has less anxiety now that he has taken it and got a scholarship. 

That would definitely help, having been there done that usually lowers anxiety of the unknown. 
We use a one minute timer for the math sections since math was less tricky. Then we use the one minute timer for the writing and language section. DS15 has always been better at proofreading than at reading comprehension.

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Thanks, everyone! I am going to check into Prep Scholar first. They should call me today or tomorrow.

I like that it would be all one place and managed by someone else besides me. I teach 4 high school math classes on Zoom twice a week, teach 4 classes at our co-op, and have students coming to the house about 5 hours per week. 

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