about the SAT
Question: What merit is there in studying for the SAT?
Answer: For one thing, the SAT preparation as taught by the Lamplighter is an excellent course of study. Most students find their work here soon begins to help them in their regular work at school. It helps them perform better on the test, and they should do better in college because of the diagnostic way we teach. The Lamplighter student works alone with the teacher. Whatever the student doesn't know and needs to know for the SAT, we teach.
Question: Do you teach test-taking techniques and strategies?
Answer: Yes, while there is no real substitute for knowing well the correct answer, we teach techniques and strategies for utilizing all the student does know. Sometimes students know more than they think they do. Moreover, we prefer the word "estimate" to the word "guess." Guessing can be wild. Eliminate answers you believe are wrong, then estimate from those that remain.
Question: lf students take the test again, and continue to study, will their scores go up?
Answer: It all depends on the earlier scores and the student's willingness to work. If the first score was very high, generally, it is more difficult to earn a higher score. If the earlier score was low, generally, it is easier to improve. Much depends on the student's commitment to the task. Moreover, while tests are designed to be comparable, they do vary, and the student may be more alert on one day compared to another. We all have good and bad days. For those who complete the entire course, however, the majority significantly improve their scores.
Question: Are all scores reported to the colleges/universities or only the highest score?
Answer: It can vary. When the student takes the test, he/she can fill out a form stating which colleges/universities are of interest and should receive the scores. Catalogues and other informative material then arrive in the mail. Questions like this can he asked of the school counselor, or the student may call the institution of interest
Question: How long does it take the student to prepare? How many times does the student need to come for lessons?
Answer: It depends on a number of factors: the student's present grades, level of intellectual functioning, dedication to the task, willingness to do the required homework, colleges the student is considering, and the scores the student wishes to achieve. Students are different.
We can't answer this question until we know the student. Nevertheless, there are both short- and long-term schedules for study, both are helpful. Our preference is that students work through the entire study manual. We suggest that students allow sufficient time so that if illness or something else necessitates cancelling a session, there is still sufficient time for adequate preparation. College is important. Plan well.
Question: What is included on the SAT Verbal?
Answer: The SAT Verbal includes sentence completions and critical reading passages. (See our other page, Reading as a Thinking Process, first page.) The SAT Verbal includes writing an essay from a prompt. It includes editing material, finding the errors, and communicating ideas clearly and effectively. For all of these tests, study of vocabulary is essential, as is a full understanding of the English language. To read well (or write well) the student must read a great deal. Reading and writing go together. Whenever we read good literature, we are learning the structure of the language. All verbal work, in college and in life, depends on ability to read and to write.
Question: What is included on the SAT Math?
Answer: The Math sections include a knowledge of basic math (K-8), and, in all, fractions, percents, probability, statistics, pre-algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, functions, and geometry.
Question: When should students take the PSAT and the SAT?
Answer: Students may take the PSAT in the in the tenth grade, but schools differ on this. Check with your counselor at school. (Very high achievers may be allowed to take the PSAT earlier.) Usually, however, students take both PSAT and the SAT in the eleventh grade. It is especially important for college-bound students to take both these tests in the eleventh grade. Students who score high on the PSAT in the eleventh grade may be in line for the National Merit Scholarship. All students are advised to stay in touch with their school counselors and not to hesitate to call the college of their choice with specific questions. All students who are college bound must have an on-going relationship with their school counselors.
Question: If I will be taking the PSAT or the SAT, whom should I contact at the Lamplighter?
Answer: If you wish to direct your call to a specific person, ask for Mr. Lynn Adams. He will be able to answer your questions or put you in touch with someone who can. The Lamplighter has been serving students for over twenty-five years. We are dedicated to the work we do.