For better or for worse, the SAT has been used as a tool to evaluate students since 1926. Both its name and the scoring system have developed over time. Despite several changes in its history, the SAT, a test to measure a high school student’s standard academic knowledge, remains a cornerstone of college admissions.
As high school counselors and other college admission counseling experts will affirm, SAT scores continue to be used by many colleges in their admissions decisions to evaluate your readiness for college and how solidly you stand out from other students.
Due to its significance to your future, college admission counseling organizations also advise you to prepare for the SAT as early as your sophomore year.
Let’s explore different reasons and benefits in this post.
Timing Is Everything
College application deadlines arrive in the fall or winter of your high school senior year, so why start studying so early? Preparing for the SAT beginning in your sophomore year gives you adequate time to study; and therefore, more time to improve your scores if needed. That’s right; your scores are within your control, to some extent.
All college admission counseling groups will advise you that if you’re applying to an Ivy League school, for example, the competition is fierce. Raising your scores significantly by starting to prepare for SAT in the 10th grade might be the difference between being a “so-so” applicant or a surefire one.
Time and time again, college admission counseling experts will preach that being successful at anything is all about the preparation you put into it. That includes the SAT.
Know Your Strengths And Weaknesses Early
Preparing for the SAT your sophomore year gives you more time to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. Some of the ways you will do this include taking the PSAT, or readily available SAT practice tests. Starting this early means you’ll have plenty of time to make the necessary improvements by extending your knowledge, and practicing what you’ve learned.
Likewise, most college admission counseling organizations can use this self-assessment; it will help you explore your best options for potential schools and scholarship opportunities, among other things. Rest assured, gauging your strengths and weaknesses first isn’t just about getting the perfect score, but improving your overall admissions chances.
College admission counseling programs can better work with you to set realistic goals and expectations based on your earliest grades and test scores.
Practice Makes Perfect (Or Close To It)
So, you’ve identified what areas you need to work on; perhaps math, reading comprehension, or writing. Now, you can practice, practice, and do even more drilling.
Most college admission counseling specialists agree that preparing for the SAT as early as 10th grade ensures that you have plenty of time, no matter your schedule. That means you can actually master the content with reading, tutoring, and practice tests well before your actual test day.
College admission counseling experts recommend investing a minimum of 2 to 3 hours a week in your sophomore year to learn the concepts, practice the problems, address any confusion, and fix any error patterns you encounter.
Eventually, you will understand the SAT inside out. Ideally, you feel confident that you not only know what each section contains but how much time you require to complete it.
Master Your Time
By tackling preparing for the SAT in your sophomore year, you take control of your time. Saving it, yes; but also by learning crucial time management strategies to cope with the test’s infamous strict time limits.
College admission counseling experts repeatedly emphasize just how challenging and stressful a time limit becomes. You feel greater pressure to improve rapidly.
Instead, by starting early, you will not only become comfortable with taking practice SAT tests multiple times to get better and better at understanding and answering questions quickly—but you might also pick up valuable strategies, including how to draft an essay in 35 minutes, and how to read and comprehend passages in 30 minutes.
College admission counseling groups can even personalize the best techniques that can work for you. Skills like these are invaluable.
Expert College Admission Counseling At Your Service
Though the reasons and benefits of preparing for the SAT as a sophomore in high school are diverse, many college admission counseling authorities agree that succeeding in your SAT matters.
Like other college application goals, this preparation builds upon the time you invest in working for it. Whether you’re applying to a college with regular or rolling admissions, we hope this post motivates you to prepare for the SAT as early as possible.
You can also receive advanced college counseling that has you covered from A to Z at Empowerly. Our comprehensive college admission counseling services will be your lifeline through every step of the college admissions process.