High school students and their parents may feel the pressure to perform well on the SAT® exam. However, beyond understanding that good SAT® scores can and do make a difference when it comes to gaining admission to colleges, parents and students alike don’t necessarily have a full appreciation for why this exam matters.

Besides, what is considered a good SAT® test score? Just how much does a student’s score really impact his or her chances of getting into a desirable school? Most importantly, how can your young scholar improve his or her SAT® score? Here at KD College Prep, we have answers to your pressing questions about this major rite of passage for college-bound teens.

What is the SAT® exam?

The SAT® is a standardized exam administered by the College Board®. It is designed to measure a student’s literacy and mathematical comprehension. The exam has been in use since 1926. The College Board® has redesigned the test many times, most recently in 2016, and no longer penalizes test-takers for incorrect answers (also known as rights-only scoring). Other changes include the incorporation of science topics, changes to the overall structure of the test, and changes to the area of mathematical focus.

The maximum any student can score on the exam is 1600 with that total evenly split between a verbal score and a quantitative (math) score. The national average hovers between 1040-1070 depending on the year.

How much do SAT® scores matter?

Most college admissions committees consider SAT® scores when evaluating applicants, and many scholarships require the submission of SAT® scores. But scores are not the only factor taken into account, and a good score alone does not guarantee admission.

Admissions committees also look at a student’s GPA and class rank, as well as his or her recommendation letters, application essays, community involvement, and extracurricular activities. A consistent, well-rounded, mature approach to academics speaks more to a student’s likelihood of being admitted to college than a number on a test. Fortunately, however, the same strategies and study habits that will help students score well on the SAT® test also promote overall academic success.

How can your student improve his or her SAT® score?

Students who are disciplined, focused, motivated, and organized are both more likely to be admitted to college and more likely to perform well there. Luckily, students who are not driven self-starters by nature can still learn these skills. After all, character qualities like discipline and persistence don’t generally flourish on their own. They must be cultivated, meaning they also only develop over time if provided the right direction and guidance.

While students must have mastered a certain amount of common knowledge to perform well on the SAT® exam, there are as many ways to hone the skills needed for academic success as there are learning styles. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to give your student the tools he or she needs to perform his or her best on the SAT® exam is to enroll him or her in a college preparatory course such as KD College Prep’s Complete program.

A good college prep class will teach students the concepts that will be included on the SAT® test as well as strategies for approaching each type of problem. Preparing for the test itself is important as taking standardized tests is a skill in and of itself. But our curriculum goes beyond testing strategies and practice tests. Our courses don’t just prepare students to score well on the SAT® test. Our instructors also impart the habits and attitudes that will help students be successful, both in college and into adulthood.

If a dedicated learning environment and focused guidance from qualified instructors could help your young scholar reach his or her goals, now may be the time to invest in a college prep program. Contact KD College Prep today to schedule a tour of a campus near you.