SAT Crash Course

Page 1: Introduction

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How to Use This Guide

New SAT Notice: The content on this page has been updated to reflect the March 2016 changes to the SAT (otherwise known as the New SAT).

The average student who uses my programs improves his or her SAT score by over 345 points.  I’m a decent teacher, but these huge score improvements have nothing to do with my knowledge of math facts or grammar – thousands of people know just as much about both topics as I do (and many know much more than I do!).

My students get the results they do because I have developed strategic systems that they use to boost their scores across all three sections of the SAT.

The facts, strategies, and tactics you learn are easily forgotten and difficult to use unless you can enter them into an overall framework.  Once you have a powerful system to work with, every new piece of information that you come across can be entered into a more effective, logical process and system.  When you study the right strategies in the right order, the efforts you put toward raising your SAT scores are going to be magnified.

To understand how a proper SAT system works, I’d like you to think about language learning as an analogy.  If you’re trying to learn Spanish, you have two options:

1. Learn every variation of every single word in Spanish and exactly what each form of each word means (hablo, hablas, habla, hablamos, etc….)
2. Learn Spanish grammar, then fit the words you learn into the Spanish grammar system.

Most students study for their SATs using strategy #1.  They pick up a new fact and memorize it on its own, never integrating it into a bigger picture.  Going back to the analogy, they need to remember that “hablo” means “I speak,” that “hablas” means “you speak,” and that “hablamos” means “we speak,” but they never understand why.  They need to repeat this draining, inefficient process for every word they learn.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to just learn the grammar?  If you know that words ending in “-o” are first person singular, “-as” are second person singular, and “-amos” are first person plural, then every regular verb in Spanish can simply be altered to fit the proper situation.  You no longer need to see “hablo” and “hablamos” as two different words, but simply as two different, predictable versions of the same word.

This analogy fits directly into SAT test prep.  You need to stop studying for the SAT “phonetically.”  To get serious score improvements, you need to develop your own “SAT grammar.”  Once you study with a good system, things make more sense, progress comes more quickly, and every new piece of knowledge you pick up interacts with the things you’ve already learned.

All of my students are taught simple, powerful strategies and philosophies that they can apply to each section of the SAT.  Once they have these systems and strategies in place, their efforts all contribute to a bigger picture.  Each new fact and trick they learn builds upon their previous knowledge.

In the pages that follow, I’m going to give you a brief introduction to some of my most powerful SAT strategies.  If you start using them right away, practice their application, and view all the new knowledge you pick up within their context, you’re going to achieve great things. To start, I want to show you how you can instantly enhance your SAT Critical Reading scores through a few very basic tweaks to your approach.
[donlin_cta] Now on to the good stuff – let’s look at our first major strategy area – SAT Critical Reading:

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