The SAT, or College Boards, are a registered scholastic achievement test which has been around since 1901. These standardized tests are accepted by most American colleges and universities, and have several forms. A general SAT , or college entrance exam, and then several Subject exams are offered.
The general admissions test will get you into most colleges, if you achieve a passing score, but the very competitive schools and scholarships will expect a higher score. This main test features sections in Reading, Math and Writing (the essay.) The subject tests are only if you want to get into a specialized school or if you have a strong field of expertise with which to impress your college-to-be. These subject tests include: English, History, Math, Science and Languages. They are helpful if you want to get scholarships or have a special interest or hope for Independent Studies.
For the homeschooler, these exams can seem daunting and the epitome of everything that they have avoided with a customized education. Yet, if you’ve met all the requirements for most states’ homeschool laws, you will be more ready than you think. The first stop, sometime in your sophomore year, or late 10th grade, would be to check out the College Board home SAT website. Here, you will have all your questions answered, and a guide to tackling preparation for these tests.
Homeschoolers can get study guides at the public libraries, and many sources online. These are quite helpful. Subscribing to the SAT Question-of-the-Day via collegeboard.org, cited above, is both fun and helpful. The Home School Legal Defense Association has a study guide offer, also. Many regional and local homeschool co-operatives have study groups that form to practice the questions and essays. You can even take a trial test for free, just see the website.
The most important thing experienced homeschool advisors can tell youis that you must learn to take timed tests. Generally, you have some experience with the required achievement tests over the years, but this is a longer one. Another significant difference is that you will have to write an essay. It is good to work on those skills of composition and spelling, as well as formulating and backing up an opinion.
If you have special needs, be prepared to request accommodations. Schedule your test for one of the dates offered in your neighborhood, perhaps taking an earlier one, then again later, if you feel the need. You will want to learn how to ration your time during timed tests, and how to relax, once you have had a good breakfast and a good night’s sleep before the big day. Generally, however, the SATs are nothing to fear. You can do this.