what do parents need to know about the sat

So Moms and Dads, What Do You Really Know About the SAT?

Posted on Posted in Blog, Color Me Educated

So Moms and Dads, What Do You Really Know About the SAT?

I don’t know about you, but usually when I try something new it takes me a time or two before I can get it right.  I’ve found this to be true several times in life.  Like learning to ride a bike, tie my shoes and how to parallel park.  God bless the knees I skinned and curbs I ran into as I tried to figure out how to get it right.  Today I would rank parenting right up there as one of the monumental trial and error experiences. 
Little does our oldest know that her birth position in the family is both a curse and a blessing. From my two youngest perspectives she will be the first one to be able to get her license, move out and go to college.  From my perspective, we don’t have a clue about parenting a teenager and she is unfortunately the first ‘test case’ of teen rearing for me and her daddy.
Our latest walk into unknown teen rearing territory has led us to the impending SAT.  And what I know thus far is that the SAT ain’t what it used to be when I took it.  So far what I do know is this: 
  • When I was coming up anything close to a 1000 meant you were a genius! Nowadays, kids have to step it up a bit. In 2013 the College Board reported that:
      • [Note: 20-21 is an average ACT score (highest possible score 36)]
      • If our oldest scores exceed the average then whoopee! If she receives an average score on either the SAT or ACT than more than likely she will be considered fairly competitive at most colleges and universities.  It just depends on the college/university she is applying to.  If she doesn’t receive at least an average score…you know how the saying goes: if at first you don’t succeed…
      • Our oldest should take the SAT at least by the spring of her junior year and again during the fall of her senior year.


    • The SAT is made up of 10 sections:
      • A 25-minute essay
      • Six 25-minute sections (mathematics, critical reading and writing)
      • Two 20-minute sections (mathematics, critical reading and writing)
      • A 10-minute multiple-choice writing section
      • Total test time: 3 hours and 45 minutes
    • Many schools offer the PSAT (or you may have to request) in the 10th grade year, definitely by the 11th grade.
    • In addition to the regular SAT test, our oldest can also take SAT subject test to showcase to a college/university her skills in a particular content.
    I know that I have just scratched the SAT surface.  Parenting the oldest I do my best to think of all the questions I should ask when it comes to how to get her from A to Z of schooling.  But how in the heck can you know what you don’t know?  Sadly, we can’t.  So, what can we do?  The best we can figure is that hopefully we will stumble upon the information needed.  Or even better someone willing to show us the’ way and save us a few bruised knees and scraped curbs.


    Do you have a teen about to take the SAT soon?


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