As a parent, standardized tests like the SAT and ACT may be a distant memory. You may remember taking those tests to get into college years ago, and now that your own teenager is ready to take them you might wonder if anything you do can help. Luckily, there are specific things a parent can assist with when SAT and ACT time comes around. Try these steps:
Get Started Early
Your teenager, like many others, has all kinds of things which fill their schedule. Between their regular classes, clubs, sports and social lives it can seem impossible to do anything else. However, starting SAT or ACT prep early can provide enough time for adequate preparation. For instance, having a few flash cards with "SAT words" or doing a few math problems each weekend is possible for most students. As their parent, you can encourage an early start so that they aren't cramming the week before their test.
You probably already know whether your child is performing well in English and Math, the two topics covered by the standard ACT or SAT. For many students, math is particularly difficult, and the best way to encourage strong scores is to hire a math tutor. A math tutor experienced in preparing students for the SAT an ACT can evaluate where your teenager's weaknesses are and improve their understanding of those topics. This can alleviate a lot of stress for your teen; these tests measure knowledge over a broad range of topics, and being able to cover each with a tutor can make them less afraid of going in for their test.
ACT and SAT scores are important to college applications, and your child already knows that. Don't make them nervous by comparing them to you, their siblings or anyone else. Avoid bringing up an older sibling's scores and implying that they should meet or surpass those scores. Every student is different, and your child doesn't need that added pressure.
Do your best not to berate your child for not preparing as much as you feel they should. Instead, offer encouragement and remind them that they can sit multiple times for the ACT or SAT. Be as supportive and encouraging as possible so that they don't feel the strain of having to impress you with their scores.
Your teenager's college entrance exams can be stressful for them and the family. Hire tutors, provide encouragement, and encourage them to start prepping early so they can earn the best scores possible