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Prep for a Poor Test Taker

dcolosidcolosi Registered User Posts: 449 Member
My D is going into her Junior year and taking the SAT for the first time in August. She is not a good standardized test taker. Her PSAT scores were right at benchmark and we are in Indiana and just found out she failed her ISTEP. Both sections by 2 points. She has a 4.0 GPA but she is a very slow reader and struggles on timed tests. I now on the PSAT she didn't finish the reading part and on the ISTEP I don't know that she finished both sections either.

She does good with tutors so we are looking at getting her help to prepare for the SAT. Any suggestions for test prep for someone who is a slow reader?

Also, the one school she really is interested in doesn't super score so she will feel more pressure knowing that she has to do well on the entire test in one sitting.

Replies to: Prep for a Poor Test Taker

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 Registered User Posts: 630 Member
    edited June 12
    I don't have specific recommendations for test prep, but would suggest you network locally to find a tutor. Many people aren't born being good test takers, but many students can make improvements by practicing, just like anything. Working with a tutor, doing lots of sample problems and even a practice test or two (some tutor firms near me offer practice tests on weekends) will help tremendously. She is clearly smart and can do this. SAT is likely to be a better choice than ACT for your daughter, as ACT is more a test of speed (similar content, but more questions per minute).

    You mentioned she has one target school in mind, but there are also standardized test optional schools that could be good options. Good luck!
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 35,915 Super Moderator
    Go to the SAT Prep forum https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/sat-preparation/ and look at the pinned threads for Silver Turtle's and Xiggi's methods.
  • dcolosidcolosi Registered User Posts: 449 Member
    Thanks. I'll check those out.
  • dcolosidcolosi Registered User Posts: 449 Member
    UPDATE: So just a quick update, my D took the SAT on 8/25 and she did a lot better than we expected based on her PSAT scores. She improved her reading considerably thanks to the work with a private tutor. Her math score was right around where her PSAT scores indicated but she is just taking Algebra 2 this year so we expect she will improve her math scores in time.

    She did run out of time on the reading so she guessed the last section so perhaps the next go round she may get a bit faster. Overall, very pleased with the first attempt and at least one of school she is interested in she scored well enough to most likely get in. The other two if she can improve her math then she should be right in the hunt.

    We expect this work will transfer over to the ISTEP she has to take again. The private tutor is a lot cheaper than the prep classes we looked into so overall, very pleased with the results so money well spent.
  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 3,676 Senior Member
    Congrats on he improvement. It's really not recommended to take the SAT or ACT before algebra 2. I wouldn't sign her up for a second sitting until March. Have her keep doing practice tests (timed) at home and with the tutor.
  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 Registered User Posts: 630 Member
    congratulations on your D's improvement, that's great news. Sounds like she put in a lot of time and hard work! And I concur, her math score likely will increase after algebra 2. Continued timed practice tests should increase her ability to finish every section too. Good luck, hope she has a great year at school.
  • dcolosidcolosi Registered User Posts: 449 Member
    Yeah, I realized that this weekend when it dawned on me that our younger D is a year behind in Math than my older D was. My older D was in advanced math so had Algebra 2 already when she took the SAT her Junior year and my younger D is in regular Math and is taking Algebra 2 this year.
  • My CupcakeMy Cupcake Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    Before you can improve your reading comprehension, you must first understand how you’re currently reading and what your limitations are.
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