Written by: Helen Donohoe
***Helen Donohoe, M.S.Ed., is a teacher of English and French in the Hamilton/Burlington area. She holds practice SAT sessions on Saturdays on an informal, drop-in basis at Cedar Springs Racquet Club where she is a member, long-time tennis hacker and aficionado.
In this section of the website we will be publishing short paragraphs on various aspects of SAT. Please leave your questions/comments here, and Helen will be happy to respond to any specific concerns from students/parents***
SKILLS AND STRATEGIES FOR SAT
Just as in tennis or any discipline you have to have a strong set of skills to be able to tackle the SAT. You cannot apply strategies if you have little or no knowledge of the subject matter. Skills in math usually progress along with the timing of math instruction in school. If you can plan to take the SAT during a semester when you are taking a math course, the skills will be fresh in your mind. This is a good strategy. At other times of the year, when you are not taking math at school, your skills can become rusty. In the critical reasoning and writing sections, learning and progress are ongoing because you have to read constantly, no matter what the subject and in most subjects you have to write too. So the work you do in Civics for example is a huge help to you in the language sections of SAT.
Apart from the essay section and a few sections of the math, SAT uses the multiple choice format for answers. In schools in Ontario, multiple choice is just one of many forms of testing/evaluation. You have to work on strategies. I’ll discuss these strategies in more detail in the next edition.
PS. This week marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. Many of the words and passages found in SAT come straight from Dickens. Start reading!