• Cedar Silva

How 7th and 8th grade students should prepare for the college

In general, people think SAT test preparation are for 10th or higher grade students. There is no need to worry about it prior to that. That is a miss perception. Normally, the students who achieving high scores, e.g. 1550 and above or even perfect score of 1600 have shown their potential in earlier grade levels. From our experiences, students in 10th grade and above can make good progress in writing/Grammar and Math areas after intensive training and hard work for a period of time. However, relatively slower progress is made for reading. This is because it takes longer time and more efforts to build up strong reading skills.

Strong reading skills will not only help the student’s SAT score to get in good colleges, but it also helps their school work to get better GPA. Many of our SAT teachers received thank you notes from college students who were taught by them for SAT test preparation. The students thank them for the skills they learned from the SAT preparation courses which not only helped them to get in their dream college, but also helped their high school, and even college works. Another reason about why reading/writing skills are important is the three major graduate school entrance exams, including Medical (MCAT), Business (GMAT), and Law (LSAT) schools which all includes the verbal section. In the case of MCAT for medical exam, verbal actually occupies a significant portion of the exam.

In the other school entrance exams such as LSAT and GMAT, verbal takes even more weight. The reason why reading/writing skills have such important role in all school entrance exams is because the school want to know how efficient the student can absorb large amount of information in a short amount of time.

Now you can see clearly the importance and benefits of having strong reading/writing skills and why you should learn those skills as early as possible, such as 7th, 8th, or even earlier.

To learn those skills, you need to know what reading/writing skills are required by SAT.

The skills required by the SAT test includes the following:


• Paraphrasing

• Summarizing

• Main Idea

• Key/Critical Detail

• Vocabulary in Context

• Drawing Conclusions

• Making Predictions

Analysis / Synthesis

• Valid/Invalid Inferences

• Making Generalizations

• Analyzing Visuals

• Cause-Effect Organization

• Chronological Organization

• Comparison-Contrast Organization

• Point-by-Point Organization

• Scope and Treatment

• Audience

• Synthesizing Information

Argument / Rhetoric

• Elements of an Argument

• Analyzing Arguments

• Logical Fallacies

• Types of Evidence

• Persuasive Techniques

• Evaluating Credibility

• Analyzing Tone

• Point of View

• Author’s Style

• Author’s Perspective

• Author’s Purpose

All of these skills you can learn in 7th or 8th grades. Some of the skills you can learn as early as 3rd grade.

In general, learning these skills can be divided into three phases or levels, i.e. Learn, Apply, and Master. At the Learn level, the students learn the basics of these skills. At the apply level, the students learn to apply these skills to text in a simpler form. At the Master level, students will learn to apply these skills to text with higher complexity.

Tests need to be used to assess to identify the students’ level and progress.


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