A Message to Parents about SAT Prep
Aren't you glad you graduated when colleges didn't scrutinize what you did with every month of your summer vacation? We who attended high school in the 1970s and earlier didn't face nearly the pressures in terms of time as the kids who will graduate this decade.
At Ivy Bound we want to alleviate the pressure as much as possible. Given that test preparation is important and that it takes time, our method is to ask for six to eight good weeks of effort. The improved scores that are likely to result relieve the pressure of having to take the SAT again and balance course work against extracurriculars and/or more test prep.
We know how busy teens can be. So we try to "create" SAT study time. We self-drill vocabulary while flossing and hair drying. We ask students to eschew all but one hour of weekly television while they're taking the class. Parents can help get the obstinate TV watcher on board by videotaping the kid's top shows for viewing AFTER the SAT.
I certainly don't want to replace you in the most important job you have, so with humility, but with nearly 13 years experience on the coaching end, I offer some tips on how to best support your college-bound teenager.
How to be a Great SAT Parent
- Make sure your interest in your child's success coincides with his or her interest.
- Be willing to assist with the fun drills we give as homework.
- Encourage your child's friend to attend the Extra Help sessions with your child. Though we offer these free of charge, we find them to be under-attended, potentially because of a perceived stigma.
- Don't blindly trust the public school. The majority of public schools have good guidance counselors who know how to help. Since some do not, we urge you to see what your kids' friends who might be in parochial school or college prep schools are doing. If you know nobody in that category, consider an independent consultant.