Do you actually learn anything prepping for the SAT?

Many say that studying for the SAT is not going to help them in anyway once the SAT is over. And they’re right—if they want to work at Dominos pizza until retirement. The SAT, now more than ever, is testing stuff you will use in college (I assume that’s where you are headed). And the skills that you cultivate preparing for this test will both make you more competitive at the collegiate level and allow you to work less for a high grade (which leaves more time for enriching activities outside of the classroom).

Below are four bona fide reasons why you should keep your head up, knowing that what you are learning for the SAT is going to be relevant to your life.


1. Learning to write well is one of the most important skills to have for college…and beyond

The new SAT has an increased focus on the mechanics of essay writing. I’m not talking about the actual essay, which will be optional, but the writing section. Learning how essays are crafted and the grammar underlying all of this, you’ll be able to better knock out essays come college. And knock out essays you will. You’ve probably heard of undergraduates pulling all-nighters to hand in, bleary-eyed, a 15-page paper. Well imagine actually getting some sleep and still handing that paper in on time, and with a better grade (writing teachers, speaking from personal experience, hate few things more than grammatical mishaps).

And once college is over welcome to the professional world. It could be a resume, a proposal, or an indignant letter to a customer service department (I’ve never done any such thing – gasp!). Strong writing skills will separate you from the crowd and help you secure that coveted job (or refund!)


2. Learning to be a better reader will mean less time hunched over and fretting over a text

The new passages on the SAT reading—with the funky graphs—are not only very similar to what you’ll read in college sometimes they are taken from a text that one day, maybe two years from now when you are studying under a tree in the main quad, you’ll see again.

It’s not that you are going to remember what you read; building those brain synapses to understand that level of text will help you more efficiently read much that college will throw at you (I can’t make any promises if you are stuck in a postmodern literature class). And all of this translates to less time and more understanding.


3. Those undergraduate math classes won’t be as tough

To be honest, out of all the sections on the New SAT the math might be the one with the fewest applications in life. That doesn’t mean it’s useless, since you’ll most likely be taking undergraduate math classes, even if you major in poetry.

If you actually go on to do math, much of the material on the SAT will seem really lightweight, but it doesn’t hurt building off the foundation of math knowledge. If you are going into a non-math related field, keep in mind that you’ll probably want to go to graduate school. And many programs require the GRE (or the GMAT, if you are headed to business school), tests that require math knowledge similar to the SAT.


4. Becoming even more adept (presumably) at the balancing game of life

Okay, maybe you are already the president of twelve school clubs, a virtuoso at the kettledrum, and a lettered athlete in four sports. Even if you are such a consummate juggler, SAT prep is going to intrude in some aspect of your life. Knowing how to prioritize your agenda is going to be skill that you’ll need if you want to thrive in college.



  • Chris Lele

    Chris Lele is the Principal Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh. Chris graduated from UCLA with a BA in Psychology and has 20 years of experience in the test prep industry. He's been quoted as a subject expert in many publications, including US News, GMAC, and Business Because. In his time at Magoosh, Chris has taught countless students how to tackle the GRE, GMAT, SAT, ACT, MCAT (CARS), and LSAT exams with confidence. Some of his students have even gone on to get near-perfect scores. You can find Chris on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook!

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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