Homeschool students who are college bound should start thinking about their SAT and ACT test in their freshman year. This gives students plenty of time to prepare and study for these important tests. One of the most important aspects of prepping for the SAT is the PSAT.
The PSAT can be taken as early as the eighth grade, and should definitely be taken in the fall of their junior year. The PSAT is a prep tool, a “practice” SAT if you will. Not only will the PSAT help homeschool students prepare for the SAT, but it is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
**In order for the PSAT score to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship, it has to be taken in the fall of the student’s junior year**
Knowing what will be scored on the PSAT, the SAT, and the ACT test will help a student prepare properly. We have compiled a list of the essential topics that are covered on these tests.
Sentence completion questions measure the student’s knowledge of the meanings of words and ability to understand how the different parts of a sentence logically fit together. Reading books and looking up unknown words is an essential prep tool that students should be doing on a daily basis. A large and varied vocabulary is essential to a good SAT score. There will also be passage-based reading and questions pertaining to the passage. This area measures critical thinking skills.
A basic knowledge of numbers, order of operations, algebra, measurements, data analysis, and probability is a must. Reviewing basic math facts in the weeks leading up to the test is an essential preparation tool for homeschool students taking the SAT or ACT test. A calculator is allowed but is not required.
In the writing skills section, students will be tested on their ability to express ideas, to recognize usage and structure problems, and their ability to see and correct grammar issues. There will be thinly-veiled sentence issues that the student will need to fix. Some questions will have a sentence that is 100% correct, which many students consider a “trick question.”
Preparing a homeschool student for the SAT should start early, when they are first introduced to the concept of independent studies. As they grow in their knowledge, finding answers is easier. If your student takes challenging school courses and reads (and looks up unknown words to build their vocabulary!) then they are already well on their way to being prepared for the SAT and/or ACT test.
This post is linked up at: