By: Nidhi Bhaskar, BS/MD student (Brown PLME) and Moon Prep Counselor
Nidhi is an experienced college counselor at Moon Prep, where she combines her personal experience in medicine and a personal passion for mentoring the next generation of doctors. As a member of Brown University’s Program in Liberal Medical Education, Nidhi is experienced in BS/MD applications and has gained insight into the nuances of approaching admissions essays and BS/MD admissions strategies. Nidhi shares her tips on how she prepared for the SAT.
SAT Reading And Writing
For anything critical reading, writing, and English-related, I swear by Erica Meltzer’s series of prep books: the Critical Reader Series. Melter is a renowned tutor and alumnus of Harvard University whose mission is to create a comprehensive curriculum to ensure that students succeed on the English and writing sections of standardized tests.
I used her books for both ACT English and Reading as well as the old SAT’s reading section. Many of her prep books come with a “score improvement guarantee” because they go beyond the cursory overview provided by other test preparation books.
Although the current version of the SAT does not explicitly test on vocabulary words, having a versatile vocabulary can be instrumental in helping students derive meaning from the tricky reading passages and incorporate this vocabulary into their essays. Although the two books below are by no means the only resources to build your vocabulary, I would recommend purchasing at least one book catered towards building pertinent vocabulary in addition to your thesaurus service. Your essays by no means need to be a word dump and incorporating these into your writing style can set your writing apart from that of other applicants.
Free Resources for Students
Taking in-person or online tutoring courses can be expensive and aren’t always right for every student. Luckily, there is a multitude of free and quality test prep sites available that fit within every student’s budget. Here is a roundup of the best free resources for studying for the ACT or SAT.
If you are studying for the SAT, then you likely have heard of The College Board. It is the company that created and administers the SAT. You’ll have to visit their website to register for the SAT (and the AP exams.)
As you start to prepare for the SAT, you should first spend some time on the College Board website to learn about the overall format and the skills you’ll need. It even breaks down the types of questions you’ll see on the SAT and what they are measuring.
Not only is it a treasure trove for practice questions for the Reading, Writing and Language, and Math sections, but it also has full-length official practice tests. These practice exams are the best way to estimate your SAT score because six of the practice exams have been given previously as the actual exams. Study these carefully and make sure to spend time analyzing your errors.
When preparing for the ACT, you’ll want to go right to the source and check out the free resources that the test creators have. The ACT Academy makes learning fun and will create a personalized study plan for you to follow. The site features videos, practice questions, and full-length exams to help you get your target score. They also have live and on-demand webinars so you can learn more about the test.
Khan Academy is another fantastic free resource that helps you target your errors. It has an SAT prep program that diagnoses your current level and then walks you through practice questions to help you work on your weaknesses. Khan Academy collaborated with the College Board to create its SAT prep program, so it is another reliable resource to use in your journey.
When you first sign up, you’ll take a few diagnostic tests to discover what the customized approach is to help you approve with targeted question types. With video and written explanations, you can use whatever method is best for your learning style.
Despite the name, CrackSAT does provide students with SAT and ACT prep material. It has hundreds of practice examples for each section, as well as the answer keys. You’ll find that the site also has a lot of old SAT practice exams as well, which can still be helpful to help you practice your different strategies for maximizing your score on the SAT and ACT.
Some students prefer to watch videos rather than reading standardized prep tips. If that is you, then check out Kaplan’s SAT and ACT youTube channel. They have videos targeting trickier practice questions as well as general tips for both the SAT and ACT.
For those who struggle with the math section, this website should be your go-to resource! It has sample questions with hints if you get stuck.
Need help preparing for the SAT and ACT? Contact us at moonprep.com/contact to learn how we can assist you!