Host: How do I know if I should prepare for the SAT?
Laura Rheinauer: I think everyone should prepare at least a little bit for the SAT. That means at least being familiar with the types of questions that are going to be on it, how it's scored, how it's set up and even doing a couple of practice problems. Don't walk in completely cold, that's no good. What you do after that is really up to you. What I recommend for knowing whether or not you should really prepare would be take the PSATs, see how do on those, you can see about how you do then on the SAT or think about doing a baseline practice test. That means sitting down for the full three hours and forty five minutes and under standard conditions taking the SAT, scoring it up and see how you do. You are going to be able to see from colleges and Universities a score range. Look at that score range of accepted students and applicants and see if your practice score or your PSAT score falls somewhere in that range. Of course, colleges looks at students above or below that score line but your score really should fall in that score range for you to be considered competitive in the application process.
Have a conversation with your parents, talk to your guidance counselor or college counselor and see -- is my score here, should it be a little more up here, what about my grades. Look at the whole picture. From that information then you will all be able to come to a pretty good conclusion. Yes, your scores need to increase which means you probably should do some good prep work or no, it looks like your pretty solid right now. You don't have to do intense prep work but just a little more familiarization. The other way you will know definitely if you need to do prep work is if it's clear across the board that you have a weakness in algebra or geometry. Let's say you got a 'D' in geometry you have really need to beef up your geometry then because geometry is a concept covered on the SAT. So look at the whole picture and you will pretty much be able to figure out where do I need to prepare.