Practice SAT Toolbox

Practice SAT Checklist


Taking full, timed practice tests is an essential ingredient to prepare for the ACT or SAT. What do you need to take a practice test?

College Board Practice Tests:

The College Board has released 4 practice tests for the new 2016 SAT.

  • Click here to download each of the tests along with corresponding answer sheets, question explanations, and practice essays.
  • Click here for a thorough scoring calculator.
  • Click here for extra SAT Bubble Sheets.
  • Click here for extra SAT Essay Paper.

The College Board has also posted it’s official PSAT.

What Else You’ll Need:

These Might Help Too:

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Useful Links for SAT and ACT Test Prep


Below are of my favorite (and less well known) links to help you prepare for the SAT and ACT.

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5 Easy Tips for the SAT

Here are five easy tips to improve your SAT score:

  1. Avoid Careless Errors — Read every word in the question and answer choices, don’t get stuck on a question, and use your calculator (even for the easy questions).  Make sure to turn the last page of every section — especially at the end of the test when you’re tired.
  2. Sit in the front row if you’re allowed to choose your own seat. This will minimize distractions.
  3. Keep your own time during the test. Don’t rely on the proctors. Bring an analog watch. You can’t use a phone or a watch that beeps. I had one really bad SAT experience where the proctor botched the time and the 5-minute warnings on nearly every section.
  4. Bring the right snacks. The test is only 4 hours, but it will be a good six hours from the time you have breakfast until you’ll be free for lunch. Plan to use the 3 five-minute breaks wisely. My favorite snacks were apple (fills the belly), super dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher), water, and Listerine strips.
  5. Make sure you are at a test center that administers the SAT in classrooms, versus gyms and cafeterias, which are noisy and distracting.

Click here to sign up for SAT tips to arrive in your In Box. And stay connected on Facebook and Twitter where I often post links of interest.


How to Cultivate Teenage Drive

How to cultivate teenage drive is the $64,000 question, and while I am not a parenting expert, I do believe that the secret to motivating a teenager is the relationship. A shared experience can be a powerful agent of connection, and it is that connection that allows an adult to motivate an adolescent.

  1. Collecting Dance. Developmental psychologist Gordon Neufeld explains the “collecting ritual” in his book Hold On To Your Kids. The collecting dance is akin to making a baby smile before picking it up. The same holds true for a teenager: you must catch the eye and establish a connection in order to be a source of motivation.
  2. Enthusiasm. Most teenagers are more interested in their friends than in their parents and the SATs. In fact, the more into the friends they are, the harder it will be to get their attention. A peer-oriented teenager will need more enthusiasm and initiative from the parent to become motivated than one who is oriented toward adults. Given Ethan’s level of peer orientation at the time, I needed to deploy radical enthusiasm.
  3. Parental Involvement. Remain interested and involved, even if your teenager is resistant. I saw with my own eyes that adolescents do better academically when parents are involved beyond monitoring homework, and I believe Neufeld’s work with adolescents confirms my experience.
  4. Invite the Connection. The most potent source of motivation for a teenager is attention and interest in what they are doing. A shared project says that the child matters and is special. The relationship that results from this sustained proximity allows for the parent to act as a compass in the child’s life and to activate motivation.

Read a related post: Motivating a Teenager to Study for the SAT

What is the Perfect Score Project? Find out more here.

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Habits, Love, Teenagers, Relationships, Kumon, and the SAT

Below are a few clips from my keynote speech at the Kumon North American Instructor’s Conference.

Habits, Love, Teenagers, Relationships, Kumon & the SAT (5:40): 

Video discusses:

  • How to convince a teenager to do what you want them to do (i.e., things they don’t want to do)
  • The power of habits and how to cultivate habits in children and teenagers
  • What I wish I’d known when my kids were younger (speaking as the mother of an 18-year-old and 20-year-old)

How to Motivate a Teenager (8:11):

Video discusses:

  • Tip #1: To motivate a teenager, stopped focusing on their behavior and started focusing on the relationship.
  • Tip #2: Expect there to be bumps along the way. A kid who does bad things is not a bad kid. Get back on the horse and focus on building the relationship.
  • Tip #3: The worst “punishment” my teenage son had ever heard of turned out to be the best “punishment” I inadvertently stumbled onto.

Why I Took My Teenagers to Kumon … and Why They Rebelled (8:24)

When my kids were teenagers, I thought it would be “fun” for the 3 of us to do Kumon together over summer vacation. Had I known the magnitude of fight that would ensue, I probably would have re-thought that first visit to Kumon. #clueless

To find out more about my speaking and tutoring services, click on this link:  Tutoring & Speaking

And/or, please send an email if you’d like to discuss further: [email protected]

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