SAT Tips from Veritas Prep

Communication in the SAT Classroom


Buffett

Photograph by Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

Buffett

This tip for improving your SAT score was provided by Alicia Wei at Veritas Prep.

Picture your role model for success. Maybe you imagined Warren Buffett, chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), or maybe you thought of your mother, who started her own business. What do they do to motivate and inspire people? How do they successfully sell their products and services? The answer is effective communication strategies. Similarly, strong communication skills are necessary to achieve great results when taking an SAT course. Two students of equal intellectual capacity can end up with significant differences in their scores because one is a much better communicator. Here are four communication strategies to use in the classroom.

1. Reduce the say-do gap. Give yourself a one or two hour buffer when estimating the amount of time needed to complete the SAT assignment. My mother always told me to multiply the time you think you need by two, especially if you have difficulty with time management. Furthermore, if you consistently miss assignments, do not say “I will do my homework.” You and your teacher should find the reason for this repetitive inaction together instead. Was the topic for this particular assignment difficult to understand? Were there stressful issues at home? Was it finals week, with schoolwork becoming overwhelming? Were there other distractions, or was the reason simply laziness? Finding the solution requires knowing the problem.

2. Voice your thoughts. Participate. It is such a simple and seemingly obvious point, but most people are not paying enough attention to this matter. You may feel uncomfortable voicing your opinion and making yourself visible, especially when you are having trouble mastering a certain concept. This is usually due to a fear of appearing incompetent. The point of attending class, however, is to improve your SAT score, not to fixate on eloquence or impressive rhetoric. Thus, participate even when you could be wrong. Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, said: “Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” Giving a wrong answer, recognizing your mistakes, and figuring out the correct strategies are all necessary steps to achieving a higher SAT score.

3. Simplify the convoluted. First, simplify the material for yourself by previewing the topics to be covered before each class. You do not want to arrive unprepared because then you would gain nothing from sitting through several hours of confusing material. Secondly, simplify a complex concept for a classmate to gauge your own comprehension. If you cannot adequately explain a multi-step geometry problem to someone else, you may not have fully understood that concept. You can set goals together and organize the group through tools such as Google Drive (GOOG) and Facebook (FB). Collaboration with peers leads to bigger improvements in SAT scores because coordinated actions lead to the optimal outcome.

4. Listen. Keep your mind open to new strategies to improve your learning ability. When people interact, they can become so focused on persuading others that they do not recognize the validity and importance of accepting new information. Some SAT techniques, such as covering the answers in Sentence Completion or drawing the average pie, can feel foreign at first. You may initially experience frustration while listening to the instructors’ explanations, but you would benefit from attempting those methods. In fact, the vast majority of students agree that their speed and accuracy increased after adopting new approaches to solving SAT problems.

The effective exchange of information among teachers, students, and their peers plays a significant role in the SAT classroom. The students with the biggest increases in scores not only retain the lessons; they also convey to the teacher their problem areas and they cooperate with classmates to improve together. These are the qualities that a leader or team member must possess in order to achieve outside the classroom. Developing excellent communication skills is a worthy investment that is essential to success.

Plan on taking the SAT soon? Take advantage of Veritas Prep’s free SAT resources including free SAT video lessons!


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