MASTER the SATⓇ
Master the SAT Math, Reading, & Grammar strategies AND create an UNBEATABLE mindset to get to your PHENOMENAL SAT score.
Hi, I’m Priyanka Shingala, founder of Let’s Talk College and SAT tutor & college applications advisor of 10 years.
In the last few years, I’ve presented at various libraries in NY & CT – including Redding, Easton, & Wilton- about the college applications process, the SAT vs ACT, crafting college essays, and navigating the college application.
If you’ve stumbled upon this course information but genuinely have ZERO idea about the SAT/ACT, then please check out this presentation that I did at the Mark Twain Library in Redding in March 2021.
In it, you’ll learn about:
- SAT vs ACT: Breakdown by topic
- Scoring the two exams
- Score reporting: test-optional, test-blind, super-scoring, etc
Of course if you’d rather read about it all – which may be faster- then check out my post The Troll, The Boy, The SAT & The ACT.
Honestly, it’s well worth having the background information before you make any decisions, and unfortunately, I can’t fit it all here.
Now, before I dive into MASTER the SATⓇ and everything it entails, I want to clear up a few misconceptions that cause both parents and students A LOT of AVOIDABLE stress and anxiety regarding testing.
“I have to get 1500 or a perfect 1600 to get into a good college.”
Uh, no. You don’t. Even students with high/perfect scores get rejected.
In fact, check out this survey from Niche.com. In a pool of 16,390 Niche users, we can see just how many were accepted into Yale.
Now, here’s my question: If having the perfect GPA and SAT score was all that mattered, then why isn’t that top right section all GREEN for “accepted”?
So, no, you don’t need a “perfect” score. You just need to get into the higher range of the accepted scores for that particular university. After that, the rest of your application needs to step up.
If you’d like to know the average GPA & SAT score ranges for specific universities, Google “*name of the university* admissions statistics”. While there are plenty of blog links that’ll pop up, look for the university’s “.edu”. That’ll contain the most current info.
“I’m not that smart, how am I going to do well on the SAT?”
It’s not an intelligence game, it’s a numbers game.
The SAT National Average is about a 1060 out of 1600. In order to get to that 1060, students need to approx. 50-55% of the test correct.
That’s right, most students are getting half the test wrong not because they don’t know the material, but because the questions are designed to trick you.
But you know what that also means?
That simply answering ⅔ of the test correctly could lead to a 1200. A potential 100+-point increase just by carefully picking the questions you want to spend your time on.
That leaves a lot of flexibility in the number of questions a student can guess on.
Note: the SAT is graded on a curve, so always answer more questions correctly than you think are needed, and NEVER leave any blank.
“I’m really bad at math, can I still get a good score?”
Most students aren’t genuinely bad at math, they probably had a not-so-great teacher at some point. Since math happens to be the only subject that requires us to retain what we’ve learned in the previous years, one not-so-great year in math can cause a domino effect.
Most students who think they’re bad at math really aren’t.
With that said, the SAT doesn’t require you to remember everything you’ve ever learned…just master the 10-15 individual concepts total across Geometry, Algebra 1 & 2, Data Analysis, etc.
For example, you’ll never see geometric proofs again. (Thank goodness!)
It takes practice but it’s totally doable.
So, with all that said…
…WHAT does the Master the SAT course include?
1) 40 days of SAT Math, Reading, & Grammar + MINDSET strategies & homework: Each step is designed to get teens to the right answer in the fastest way possible, while building unshakeable confidence.
(Note: The SAT essay is not currently offered by the Collegeboard. Should that change at any point, the Essay strategies will be added on to the course at no additional cost.)
2) 4 Zoom PROCTORED mock exams: The students and I will get online on 4 different Saturday mornings (8 AM) and take full length exams. We’ll run it just like the real test. That way, the actual test will feel more like a “been there, done that” than a stressful situation.
3) Office hours 2x/week via Zoom: It’s important to have access to help, to be able to ask questions and even tweak strategies to better suit you. That’s what office hours will be about.
Currently the office hours are set to Mondays from 11 AM – 12:30 PM and Thursdays at 6 PM – 7:30 PM.
Pop in at any point during those times to get your questions answered.
4) Built-in accountability: Accountability is crucial, especially since teens don’t tend to tell their parents much. It makes it harder for parents to help. So, how exactly are we holding teens accountable?
- Homework submissions are tracked. Students have 1-week to submit the week’s homework. Parents will be notified via email if more than 3 homework assignments are missing.
- Monthly updates: For the duration of the course, parents will receive progress updates via email. These will include all mock exam scores and recent office hour attendance. It’ll give you an idea of just how much time & energy your teen is putting in. Because with this course- as with everything else- what you put in is what you get out of it.
5) 6 months of access: Students can access this course as often as they’d like between the start date and Dec 31. Since most students tend to take the test at least 2-3 times, after the Aug 28th exam, students can use the material to take the Oct, Nov, and/or Dec SATs. Be completely DONE testing before the holidays!
LOGISTICS & DATES:
- The course will start on June 26th in preparation for the Aug 28th SAT test.
- The course will be hosted on Google Classroom. Most students have been using the platform for over a year, the familiarity will help us avoid technical difficulties.
- The weekends are built-in as breaks to prevent students from burning out. Take breaks. The 40 days of video refers to 40 weekdays.
- The 5 videos of the week will be posted every Sunday. The course is 8 weeks long, but students decide if they’d like to split the 5-6 hours of weekly work into daily tasks or 2-3x per week.
- Homework will be due on Mondays: 8 days the assignments have been posted.
- Mock exams will be proctored for the standard 3hr15 min, not for extended time. Students with extended time can take the mock exams at the same time, however they will be timing themselves. Timing info will be provided.
- All mock exams will be at 8 AM on the following days:
- Diagnostic #1: June 26
- Diagnostic #2: July 10
- Diagnostic #3: July 24
- Diagnostic #4: August 14
- Actual SAT: August 28. All students must register themselves for the test via Collegeboard.
- The 8 AM mock exam time is intentionally designed to match the actual test day’s. On the actual day, all students must be at their test sites by 7:45 AM, and doors will close by 8 AM.
- If a student cannot make it to a mock exam, he/she will be asked to complete an exam on their own time. It is highly recommended that students make it to the proctored events.
- Office Hours: Mondays from 11 AM – 12:30 PM; Thursdays from 6 PM – 7:30 PM. Students can drop by at any point in that time frame.
BECAUSE I WANT TO ENSURE THAT INVESTING IN THIS COURSE IS THE RIGHT DECISION FOR YOU…
…PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS COURSE IS NOT FOR EVERYONE….
Who is this course BEST for?
1) For students who work well on an online platform.
When school turned into a Zoom classroom setup, your teen was fine or had minimal problems learning from short online videos. Also, teens, if you can learn from Khan Academy, then you’ll definitely learn here :).
If, during the online Zoom classes during COVID-19, your teen has discovered that he or she DOES NOT work well online, then this course is NOT right for them.
2) Students who are willing to try new ways of approaching what they may already know.
There are certain topics that require specific methods, ones that can initially take longer to solve the problem. You’ll be fighting instinct, but stick it out, and DON’T go back to the old way of doing things.
You WILL speed up after practice, there’s no doubt about it, but you have to stick it out.
3) For students with a healthy level of drive and self-motivation.
You can pace yourself, know what’s due and when, and you rarely have trouble getting your work in on time. You’re also willing to do the work to see the results.
This course is NOT for:
1) Students with severe ADD/ADHD, or anxiety.
In my experience, 1-on-1 tutoring works best because we can really dive into your thought patterns and figure out how to make them work for you. You’ll still have access to this course content but we may do things a little differently. Please email me if you’d like to learn more about tutoring.
2) Students who DO NOT have the time.
The course consists of about 5-6 hours of work per week. Students can split that into a daily 1-1.5 hrs sessions, or 2 2.5-3 hr sessions.
However you choose to do it, homework is due by Monday evening of the following week.
If you do not have that amount of time, then this is NOT the right course for you.
Note: the work MUST BE SPREAD OUT throughout the week. New content will be posted on a week-by-week basis to allow students who want to move a little faster to do so. However, please DO NOT consistently do everything in 2-3 consecutive days.
3) Students who struggle to complete schoolwork.
If that happens to be the case, a course may not be the right approach for you, tutoring may be the better option.
What will the videos look like?
Curious as to what the videos in the course will look like?
Here’s a sample of a Reading lesson.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Since a lot of major universities have gone “test optional”, should we still take the SAT?
If possible, then yes.
Because due to the switch to “test optional”, a lot of the well known universities have been flooded with applicants, individuals with high GPA but who may not normally test well. As such, the admissions process has gotten more competitive. Having a good SAT score on file can only work to your advantage. Later on, should you find that you’d rather not send your scores in, then don’t.
Also, if you know which universities you’d like to apply to, I highly recommend looking at their testing policies for the next cycle. Some universities have reinstated their testing requirements, so please be aware of that.
To find the info, Google “*Name of University* 2021-2022 testing requirements” and see what pops up.
2) But what about the ACTⓇ?
Any university that accepts the ACT also accepts the SAT, so students do not have to take both exams.
For students who struggle with math or just prefer more time per section, I recommend the SAT.
For students who have a strong math foundation and don’t mind a time crunch, try either exam.
3) Will I get the score I want the very first time I take the test?
Honestly, no, you might not.
Despite all of the mock exams, the drills, and so on, I’ve learned that students need to go through that feeling of “Shit, this is real” that comes with taking their first real test.
As such, first exam scores can be average or even above average, but they may not yet match the Diagnostics and drills. That’ll happen in the 2nd and 3rd retakes.
That is actually one of the reasons why all students have 6 month access to the course and content.
4) Can I combine the course with tutoring?
Yes! If you are interested in combining the course with tutoring, please e-mail me at email@example.com and I’ll send you more info.
I recommend waiting until after the course starts to determine if tutoring is necessary.
5) How do I decide if a course or 1-on-1 tutoring works best for my teen?
Over the years, there are a couple of drawbacks that I’ve noticed with the 100% tutoring approach, namely, that a student doesn’t learn new content until the scheduled session with the tutor.
So, when students get busy with schoolwork, sports, etc, and have to cancel tutoring sessions, the entire SAT prep work + homework is delayed. That means that a student may not end up ready for the SAT due to content that wasn’t covered or content that was forgotten due to the tme gap.
With the course, students will have access to all of the content & strategies and can work at their own pace. Combine that with individualized “tinkering” with tutoring and you have a highly effective combo.
6) Can you guarantee a score?
No. It’s impossible to guarantee a score because I cannot predict how much effort the student is willing to put in.
Companies that make certain score guarantees actually have a lot of fine print written in, including high initial scores.
With that said, ALL of the strategies presented in this course have been proven time & time again over the past DECADE.
I’ve had students score in the 1500s with the strategies included in this course, but there is only so much that a tutor or a teacher can do. The students who scored in the 1400+ range were all willing to spend hours completing reading drill after reading drill, or math drill after math drill to finesse their approach.
The hard work came from them, not me.
But the strategies they used? Yeah, those are all covered in the course.
7) If my teenager is aiming for a 1500+, will this course do it?
I would recommend supplementing the course with a couple of tutoring hours.
Because once a student gets into the really high score range-1400+ – we have to go in and tweak based on that student’s mindset.
“Bored with science-based reading passages, which then leads you to make small mistakes?”
Okay, we have to tinker with your approach for that.
“Looks like you tend to miss the main idea questions.”
Okay, what is your thought process when you approach them?
Just one final reminder
The college applications process has a lot of moving parts:
So, why are some people so relaxed about the whole process?
Why aren’t they as stressed?
Simple: they front-loaded the work.
They started early, and knocked out parts whenever they could.
One of the biggest parts?
The hours upon hours of class and homework were done over the summer, when there was time & limited academic commitments…
…so, what if YOU could do the same?
What if YOU could take a HUGE load off of your teen’s shoulders, and reduce everyone’s stress levels?
Without the SAT Prep to worry about, your teen can focus on school.
Practicing for retakes is nowhere near as intense as learning the content in the first place.
The new school year is inevitable.
The question is, how far into your college apps process will you be before then?
Please note that the SAT is the property of College Board, Inc which does in any way endorse this product. ACT is the property of ACT, Inc.