Many teens dream of studying in a US college. Thousands of Canadian students, as well as teenagers from across the globe, head to the USA to further their education each year. Travel broadens horizons, after all.
The USA is also home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world: Columbia, Stanford, Harvard and MIT, to name a few which is why the country’s international education appeal remains huge.
If your teenage child is interested in applying to study in the USA, then you’ll need to know how they can demonstrate their merits and prove they are worthy of a coveted spot in their choice of school. Competition is fierce in the best colleges. Your child will be competing against other international students as well as American students.
One important aspect of college application to anywhere in the USA is the SATs. It’s likely that this test will be required by the colleges your child wants to attend. Ivy League schools typically look for an SAT score of 1390+.
The SAT can be taken in Canada by registering with the College Board. It is usually held six times per year and you can retake the test multiple times. Most students choose to take the SAT in the spring of 11th grade. They retake it if necessary early in 12th grade.
So, what is the SAT?
The SAT is an academic aptitude test. It’s designed to test school leavers’ academic readiness for college, and taken by millions of teenagers across the world every year.
In the USA, there is no national system for grading all high school students across all schools. A student with top grades in one school may not have received the same grades in another.
To level the playing field, the SAT was introduced as a standard measure that could be taken by any high school student in any state or by any student across the world. This meant that a college admissions board was able to compare students more easily.
The SAT is not a knowledge test. It’s a measure of core skills such as reading comprehension, writing, problem-solving, and numeracy.
There are three main sections, with majority of the questions done in a multiple choice format.
In the reading and writing part of the test, students are examined on their reading comprehension and vocabulary, their grammar and English language mastery. This part of the test totals 100 minutes.
In the 80-minute mathematics test, there are both calculator and non-calculator sections. It tests multiple skills including problem solving and data analysis, as well as algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus and geometry.
Finally, there is an essay paper. This involves answering one question within 50 minutes. Essays are scored on reading, analysis and writing.
Although the essay section is optional, taking it is generally recommended. An essay score is nearly always an entry requirement among the most competitive colleges.
How Can My Child Do Well in the SAT?
So, the SAT is not a test of knowledge; it’s not a test of IQ either.
Intelligence contributes to a good SAT score, but acquired skills are more important to succeed: reading comprehension, written language skills, problem solving and numeracy. This means that pupils can be helped to develop these skills further, in readiness for the SAT.
Learning how to take the test is vital, too. The exam will need to be understood and practiced by your child.
Preparing for the SAT with thorough research and SAT test prep classes are positive steps to ensure success in the test.
How Do I Find a Good SAT Prep Class for My Teenager?
Whether you’re searching for SAT prep classes in Canada or anywhere else in the world, the goal is the same. You’re looking for a quality education provider that:
- Uses the latest SAT content material. Providers should have a handle on recent question patterns to produce the most accurate practice material possible. Ask how often SAT Prep Class materials are updated to be sure.
- Understands unique strategies for helping non-US students through the test. Barriers caused by different educational backgrounds can be overcome with the right help.
- Teaches students to be smart test-takers using good strategies. Teaching the content of the test is important, but so is applying the right tactics.
- Uses a diagnostic test at the start of the course to help target teaching and prep material correctly.
- Gives frequent feedback on a student’s work so they know the specific areas they need to improve.
- Has a bank or library of additional material so your child can access extra prep.
- Guarantees to help your teen get a score they are satisfied with.
The truth is that kids who have prepared to the best of their abilities and received the best advice from a good SAT prep class provider are in the best position to do well. The right preparation is the key to a great SAT score. With this, your child will make a very positive step in the process of securing a US college placement.
Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building a solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.