Parents can help by going over test-taking strategies with children and helping them practice. Buy The Official Guide to the SSAT a few months before your child takes the test, and consider also signing up for the new diagnostic Online Practice Program. After giving your child a timed practice test, go over the wrong answers to help you both determine how best to apporach test preparation so that your child can do his/her best when taking the actual SSAT.
Working hard in school and on homework is a child's best preparation for the SSAT. There are also a number of skills that you can easily incorporate into your home routine:
Be sure your child reads – a lot! When reading a book or watching a television show or a movie, ask your child to repeat the plot, the story's characters (including the main character), and the setting. Ask him/her to retell what happens in the beginning, middle, and end. After you read a book together, ask him/her questions about what happened.
Work on increasing your child's vocabulary by using and defining more difficult words in everyday speech. Use a dictionary to check definitions. Practice using antonyms and synonyms: games make it more fun! Encourage your child to learn the meanings of the Latin and Greek word roots; this will help them to determine the meanings of unfamiliar words.
The writing sample portion of the SSAT asks students to respond to a writing "prompt." This prompt is meant to structure their ideas. You may want to review basic punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure. For students taking a computer-based SSAT, including either the SSAT at Home or SSAT at a Prometric test center, ensure your student has brushed up on their typing skills as their response will be typed.
Rather than concentrating solely on computation, standardized math tests usually involve spatial skills, patterns, and sequencing. Create graphs based on family activities and practice reading them together. Practice time and money concepts. Use a pizza or a cake to demonstrate fractions and geometry.
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