SSAT Study Tips: My Six-Week Plan for SSAT Prep
If you’re preparing for the SSAT and have come to this blog looking for tips, you probably wouldn’t expect to find the word “fun” jumping out at you. Believe it or not, preparing for the SSAT can be as fun as you make it to be, and science has proven that people learn best when they’re having fun. The more entertaining and enjoyable you can make your preparation, the higher your scores are likely to be: it’s a win-win scenario. In my case, I prepared for six weeks and had top scores in the verbal and reading portions. In this post I’ll share some of my tips with you for scoring high on those parts of the test.
Get an SSAT Study-Buddy
If possible, first find a buddy who is also taking the SSAT. My friend and I met at the library three times during the six-week period, and it was a lot more fun than simply preparing alone. If you can’t find a friend who’s taking the SSAT, maybe an older sibling or a parent will be your study-buddy.
Create Your Own Vocabulary Quizzes
Vocabulary is everything; the more you know, the better. I learned six hundred words from SAT vocabulary lists. It’s obvious that rote memorization of words is terrifically dull, and it’s hard to remember what you are trying to learn if you’re bored. My solution to this was to use Quizlet, a free online site that allows anyone to make their own quizzes. Not only could I quiz myself, but my friend and I shared our quizzes online, and competed with the “scatter quiz” to see who could have the fastest times in matching words with definitions.
My quizzes were twenty words each, with definitions and sentences. Since science has proven that we are most likely to remember bizarre examples, I created weird and hilarious sentences in order to use the words in context. Some quizzes used just synonyms or antonyms. I studied three quizzes at a time, once or twice per day, in 20-minute sessions. With Quizlet, you can study flashcards and make tests that are multiple-choice or matching, as well as being able to “star” any words that are giving you difficulty so that you can focus on them specifically.
Study with The Official Guide to the SSAT
When studying for the SSAT, another basic key for me was to only practice with actual SSAT material. There aren’t a lot of official questions available, but it’s better to learn the real ones thoroughly than to learn the imitation ones at all. Practicing with bogus SSAT questions could actually cause you to be confused by the real questions on test day.
In my case, I practiced every single question in the SSAT Official Guide. On my own I studied the categories of the different types of analogies, so that I could understand the various ways that analogies might be presented in the questions, which was helpful.
However you decide to prepare for the SSAT, remember that it can be fun. Start a few weeks early, and good luck!