Only 43 percent of the SAT takers this year met or exceeded the benchmark score of 1550 out of a possible 2400. Those who reach that number have a greater chance of attaining a respectable average during their first year of college and persisting grade to graduation.
Over 98,000 students have traveled to the states from India, in 2012 alone, to pursue their education. Students are of the belief that technology and pedagogy in the U.S. universities are far superior to colleges in India. Tilting the balance in favor of universities in the U.S. is the exposure that the students gain from studying overseas and the mindset of the institutes to boost them to pursue their fields of interest. Since SAT exam is a standardized entrance test taken by those candidates who want to study in the U.S., the number of Indian students appearing for the test is going up drastically. However, there are still many misconceptions and obstacles clouding the SAT exams.
Getting rid of the Myths
"Students have some misconceptions regarding the test. They believe that preparing for SAT exam is same as preparing for any other entrance exams like IIT-JEE and AIEEE. But fact of the matter remains that SAT is a very different exam. In fact, it is extremely unique when compared to any other exam in the country," says Vineet Gupta, Director and Founder, Jamboree. The scoring pattern for SAT is another factor that makes it a very unique test. SAT is scored out of 2400 but anything above 2000 is considered as a high score. Success rate in the case of SAT is not measured in terms of a cut off. It is measured in terms of score that is low, medium, or high. A high score can provide an entrance to the top universities.
"SAT is heavily focused towards skills that students have gained during the 12 years of schooling. It is focused on reading and writing along with Mathematics. These are skills that need to be sharpened over time. So, in order to make a big difference in SAT scores, it is important to get an early start and give proper time for preparations," adds Gupta.
He emphasizes that to crack the SAT, coaching institutes and student's approach should be focused. The SAT has 3 different sections ï¿½ reading, writing and Math, in each section students can research on the different kinds of questions that come up in the exam, such as, in the reading section, there are questions related to vocabulary. If there are questions on grammar usage then students should be trained on grammar usage, they can also be taught on how to write an essay.
Put your Head down and focus
To remain focused in during the exam is another big challenge. SAT is a 4-hour exam and students have to answer different kinds of questions in every two minutes. This can be heavily engaging for the mind. The best way to deal with this is to practice taking the test. With practice students learn about their strengths and weaknesses and that can help them in completing the test without any hitches.
Gupta refers to coaching institutes as test-prep centers. According to him they have more responsibility than providing plain guidance. "Preparing for SAT is tough and coaching institutes can help in making a student's life easier by filtering out information and pointing them in the right direction. Institutes can guide the students to the best books and relevant materials." Jamboree as a test-prep centre enables its students to become more focused and less hassled. Students are encouraged to study daily, few hours a week on their own including the homework given by the institute. Candidates are mainly encouraged to take 8-10 sample exams. "Teachers coaching the students must know every detail of the exam, only then can they can help students in cracking it easily. By sticking to the narrow syllabus and being very focused and targeted to crack SAT can make it a lot easier for students," he adds.
The classroom training in these test-prep centers, being provided to the students builds a strong base in the subjects by supplementing and expanding upon the knowledge acquired in school. Conceptual clarity makes the student strong and generates interest and liking for the subject. Therefore, students would have a dual advantage over other students in terms of their enhanced performance at the exam and continue to perform well in their degrees.
Founded in 1993, Jamboree, is a provider of training for tests such as GMAT, GRE, SAT, TOEFL and IELTST. The institute has since established its presence in 13 cities all over the country.