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Will SAT Prep Help Me in Other Subjects?

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Posted by Laura Registrato | Apr 3, 2014 12:55:00 PM

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A lot of students wonder: does SAT prep help with anything else in life?  In this article, a real SAT instructor gives her view on the topic.

Most people look at education like a textbook: you read information, you absorb it, you move it around and you solve problems with it. 

But the best, most dynamic education is interdisciplinary--it combines multiple subjects that overlap or intersect, because that’s how the real world is. You can’t do science without math, and you can’t write a history paper without English.

Along those same lines, you can’t get better at taking the SAT without learning something about the skills it tests and why it tests them. And yes, that can help you in the rest of your schoolwork--if you prep the right way.

The SAT loves to test alternate meanings of words--the less-common second meaning of the adjective “fair,” for example, which means pleasant (weather, for example, can be fair). SAT prep is a great way to learn these second meanings--not just for the test, but so you’ll know what people mean when they say “fair-weather friend.” For example, let’s say you are prepping with the following Reading Comprehension question:

The widow, searching for a craft store, passed dozens of storefronts as she walked. She had a very complicated and specific project in mind for her daughter, but she knew she wouldn’t be able to realize it without a special accessory for her sewing machine.

In the passage above, “realize” most nearly means

{A} understand

{B} discover

{C} accomplish

{D} determine

{E} earn

If this question were on the SAT, you’d have very little chance of learning from it--the stress is too great. But in prep, you have a moment to think about it. Does the widow need to “understand” her project? No, that doesn’t make any sense, she thought of it. For her to “discover” the project makes even less sense. Does she need to “accomplish” the project? Yes--don’t eliminate {C}. To “determine” a project doesn’t make sense, nor does “earn.” So if you didn’t know that realize can mean accomplish--literally, to make real--your SAT prep has just given you a little boost in your understanding of the English language.

Here at PrepScholar, we’ve constantly working--yes, right this minute--to improve the real-life applicability of our materials, both for the student’s benefit and for the advantage it gives the learning process itself. When ideas are more connected to other ideas, we remember them more readily. Thus, SAT prep that’s connected to the real world and other subjects is both more effective and more fun. Stay tuned to PrepScholar’s ongoing pedagogy innovations by subscribing to the blog!

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Laura Registrato
About the Author

Laura has over a decade of teaching experience at leading universities and scored a perfect score on the SAT.

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