COVID-19 has fundamentally changed standardized testing. For one, the College Board is trying to set a Guinness World Record for how many tests it can cancel in a row. But beyond just the tests being canceled, COVID-19 is making people question how exactly to best study for these big tests in the first place. Traditional in-person boot camps have fallen out of favor, both because of safety concerns but also because of poor results relative to the price tag. A conducted government study on standardized testing boot camps found that only 40 points are gained on average. They’re definitely not worth the several thousand dollars it costs. So why not self-study for the SAT Exam? It’s efficient, safe, and can yield a whole lot more than 40 points for [almost] free.
Who Should (& Who Shouldn’t)
First, let’s start with who shouldn’t. Self studying for anything requires self determination, self discipline, and self motivation. If you consider yourself to be a slacker who is not self-motivated, then self studying is not for you.
However, if you are self motivated, open to learning, and willing to make adjustments, then self studying is for you. In fact, we believe it is the ideal starting point for preparing for the SAT or ACT.
Why Self Study
Self studying is, well, self explanatory for the following reasons:
- Practically free
- Highly personalized
- Flexible to your other commitments
In general, self studying costs between $0 to a few hundred bucks. The most expensive option accounts for buying a considerable amount of practice tests and potentially hiring a tutor to relearn old material.
Secondly, self studying is highly personalized in that, who knows your strengths and weaknesses better than you do? And even if you don’t, free tools like Khan Academy can even help you determine them just like a tutor would. They also provide you corrective lessons and exercises to improve upon both your strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, you can always relearn concepts you’ve forgotten by reviewing online material or even textbooks, in tandem with instructional content on YouTube.
Third, self studying is the only option that works around your schedule. In the grand scheme of college admissions, standardized testing is overrated when it comes to so many other things, from summer learning experiences and programs to volunteering and helping your community. Too often parents, and by extension their students, prioritize SAT training over the summer only to find a minuscule point gain and lost time for other opportunities, including sleep. After all, who likes going to a one-size-fits-all test center for 5-7 hours a day anyways? Not only does it not work most of the time, it’s boring and expensive.
How to Self Study for the SAT Exam
- Determine your baseline score.
- Diagnose your content weaknesses, or knowledge holes.
- Reinforce & Relearn: strengthen your strengths and lessen your weaknesses.
- Adopt test-taking skills.
- Practice without pressure: combine new knowledge with test-taking skills.
- Practice with pressure: simulate the experience.
A premium video of this will be made available only in GoPath, so check us out there to learn more on how to properly self study for the SAT.
Recap and Conclusion
Do not self-study for the SAT or ACT if you consider yourself to be a slacker who is not self-motivated. Only commit to it if you are self-motivated, open to learning, and willing to make adjustments. Self-studying is the best option for your student as it is practically free, highly personalized, and also flexible to your other commitments and schedule. Look out for our premium video on GoPath, but in the meantime, read more on how to better study for standardized tests here.
We hope that this provides some valuable insight into how to release some of the stress you may have while making your college application profile even stronger. We specialize in youth mentorship and college counseling. From 8th grade to 12th, we have you covered for any stage in your high school career. Schedule a free consultation with us here.
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