Just when you thought high school was falling into a predictable pattern, you discover it’s time for your student to take the SAT – the Scholastic Aptitude Test. SAT Prep for your ADHD student sounds like a nightmare, but you can help him prepare so he’ll know what to expect. She may not thank you today, but one day you’ll hear about how grateful she is for your support. Start your best strategic plan early and be sure to:
1. Secure test accommodations. The College Board can grant your student special testing accommodations like extra time or more breaks, but you must apply for these, so it’s very important to plan ahead. Your child’s application should be received at least 7 weeks prior to the test date. Usually your child’s school should submit the documentation to SSD* online, but you must initiate it. There’s also a procedure for parents to go directly to the College Board. Keep in mind that neither 504 nor IEP modifications are automatically carried over for this standardized test. Click here for more information and applications.
2. Test often. Most students (ADHD or not) will take the SAT more than once to improve scores and combine their best scores from various dates. Our middle daughter took it so many times that test proctors started to recognize her and chat with her as she stood in the registration lines. With Lesley, we missed the first accommodation deadline, but she took the test anyway to give us a baseline without any accommodations. Practice never hurt anyone.
3. Take advantage of free resources. The most obvious one is what you’ll find on The College Board Website. Students can choose practice tests, practice questions or answer the Question of the Day to break down SAT preparation into bite-sized chunks. You can also get more in depth help for vocabulary. One of our favorite vocabulary websites is called Word Nerd. Turns the drudgery into fun!
4. Read that book. The College Board makers publishes an updated SAT prep guide every year to help students prepare for the test. You’ll find other resources for practice tests here. If you don’t want to spend for a brand new book, you could try looking on Amazon or at a used bookstore or charity shop to see if you could pick up last year’s edition.
A student diagnosed with ADHD-inattentive may often experience test anxiety, but test preparation can help her overcome certain fears. Remind him that an application to college is more than an SAT score. Read how one of our readers helped her child create a very strong resume and college application.
PS Speaking of Jennifer, she offers SAT classes, counseling, consulting and coaching, especially for the ADHD student. Visit her at SAT Prep for ADHD, and tell her we sent you!