We've all seen the movies and TV shows that deal with the SAT - whether it's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Chris Evans' The Perfect Score, or even Accepted. However, this mythical test, given to high school students in America, has so much more importance than existing as a scary, unknowable version of Matric exams. For any student wanting to attend University in the USA, the SAT serves as an academic benchmark for schools across the country, allowing them to figure out where each applicant is academically in relation to their peers. This test can be really important, and can make or break an application regardless of any other strengths a student may have.
But there's no need to be concerned! With our handy guide on how to prepare for the SAT, we've got you covered.
Let's start by looking at the basics:
What is the SAT?
The SAT is a standardized test administered to high school students who wish to apply to American colleges and Universities. It consists of four multiple-choice sections - two English, and two Mathematics - and an optional Essay section. Scored out of 1600, the SAT score gives an indication of a student's relative academic ability, where scores can be compared across a range of applicants from anywhere in the world.
It is also NOT the ACT, a different standardized aptitude test offered to high school students.
So how do you go about preparing for the SAT? Well, we've got some tips to put you in the best position to succeed.
Take the SAT Diagnostic Test
This is a critical first step, as it will give you a clear sign of how much of the SAT content you already know. The SAT Diagnostic is an online test that quickly covers the SAT questions you would need to be able to complete, and this is crucial as it can tell you exactly where you need to spend the most time studying before the actual test.
Yes, studying is a hugely necessary part of SAT preparation. Although most of the content is covered by the South African high school syllabus, most students don't realize the difference between the style of the SAT and the way that they have been tested throughout their school careers. Remember, students who went to high school in the USA have been preparing for these types of tests for years, so you need to put in the hours to get yourself ready.
There are a number of resources you can use to learn the SAT's material, ranging from the free, online Khan Academy, to the numerous SAT Prep books available to buy (we prefer Kaplan), to the brilliant tutoring available both in-person and online. Knowing which method will be most effective for you can also have a big impact in how well-prepared your study time can make you.
Register Well In Advance
The SAT has booking deadlines well in advance of the testing dates, so registering for the test should be done ahead of time. Once you've registered, make sure to read all the details of your location and what to bring very thoroughly - the moderators are strict and make no exceptions to any rule. On test day, make sure you arrive punctually and are prepared for the entirety of the SAT's duration - if you miss the SAT, you will not be reimbursed.
How Do I Register?
Check out our blog post on this subject!
Practice Makes Perfect
Along with studying to make sure you have covered all the relevant material, make sure to take as many practice tests as you can. These tests will not only give you an idea of how your studying is going, but will also familiarize you with the way the SAT questions are asked. There is no substitute for hard work, and the SAT is no different.
On Test Day
Make sure you have your ticket, identification, and appropriate stationery with you. If possible, consider leaving your phone at home to remove the distraction from your mind. The SAT takes around 3 hours, so make sure you have a good breakfast and are ready to make your college dreams come true!
At the end of the day, only you can ensure that you prepare enough to make the test a success. Use the SAT as a dry run for your time in the US - how can you cope when you don't have your teachers helping you every step of the way? Prove to anyone watching that you can handle yourself and succeed in a challenging situation.
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Many student-athletes think that the NCAA is the only association they can join, and that if they fail to meet the eligibility requirements, then all is lost. This isn’t the case! Don’t let Eligibility Requirements dampen your enthusiasm towards earning a college degree in the USA - you may still be eligible to compete as a student-athlete in the NAIA.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is an athletic association that governs small to medium-sized universities. There are about 250 member schools that help over 77 000 Student-Athletes achieve academic success while competing on the sports fields.
The NAIA requires a student-athlete to meet two of the following three requirements in order to be eligible to practice and compete:
A major benefit of the NAIA is that there are no specific subjects that you are required to take during high school - you have the freedom to choose both subjects that you enjoy and ones that you excel in. On the athletic front, the NAIA offers 13 sports for a student-athlete to participate in (although it’s important to remember that women’s field hockey is only played in the NCAA and not in the NAIA.)
With a strong investment in athletic recruitment and scholarships every year, many NAIA member schools have been able to attract top Student-Athletes into their programs. This allows for the competition level to become more competitive, and as a result, we see many top-level NAIA member schools being compared to schools from the NCAA Division II.
There is no better time to start your college process than today. The earlier you start, the better chance you have at earning a top scholarship and participating at the highest level possible.
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You have a dream of becoming a student-athlete in the USA and wanting to play in the NCAA, only to have stumbled across their academic requirements known as The 16 Core Courses. Below we will walk you through them so you can understand what is required and enable you to compete and study abroad.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the largest sport’s governing body in the United States, with over 460 000 Student-Athletes. Their two main focus points are to ensure all students put their studies before their sports and they guarantee the fairness of competition on the playing field, by making sure no student has played on a professional level.
Core courses are high school subjects that have been reviewed and approved by the NCAA as a course which meets its academic standards. Core courses are the foundation of the NCAA Eligibility requirements and all member schools are required to have their potential student-athletes achieve these requirements.
It’s important to remember that not all High School subjects count as NCAA Core Courses. The more you know about the core courses, the better prepared you will be to ensure you are taking the right subjects.
The NCAA has set standards which differ slightly between Division I and II. Only courses taken from Grade 9 to Grade 12 are counted and they include the following:
NCAA Division I:
What if I don't meet the requirements?
Failing to meet all the academic requirements will result in you not being able to practise or compete in your first year. If you meet some of the requirements, you can be a partial qualifier, where you may practise and receive an athletics scholarship in your first year at college but will not be allowed to compete in sanctioned events.
The importance of starting your college process as early as possible will set you on the right pathway in order to become eligible with the NCAA.
Here are some useful tips:
Making sure you are eligible can be a difficult process to fully understand. Avoid the stress of figuring it out yourself can get in contact with us. SIGN UP today for a free evaluation and make your dreams a reality.