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To help your SAT test preparation, Varsity Tutors provides Portland SAT courses with thorough coverage of SAT content. These courses are designed to be as convenient as possible while meeting your SAT prep needs. College and university admissions boards will use your SAT score as one measure of your readiness to study at a college level, and it can affect their acceptance decisions. Those are pretty high stakes, so it's an excellent idea to take advantage of the high quality SAT classes offered by Varsity Tutors.

What subjects are covered in a Portland SAT course?

The SAT includes sections on Math, Reading, Writing and Language, and an optional Essay. Though you have the choice whether to write the Essay, it's possible the schools and major programs you're applying for require an Essay score. Be sure to check that before you decide if you want to take the Essay section.

Both the Reading and the Writing and Language sections are entirely passage-based, with a few multiple-choice questions embedded within or following each passage. The Math section is made up of a no-calculator subsection and a calculator subsection. Each has multiple-choice and grid-in questions, which are math problems you have to work out and write your answer. Your Portland SAT course instructor can explain more about these types of problems in class if necessary. The Essay is made up of one prompt, a persuasive argument, that you must respond to. Following is a quick description of the skills tested in each section.

The Reading section has 52 questions you must answer within 65 minutes. They're designed to assess your reading comprehension and reasoning skills, your command of evidence, and your ability to understand words used in context. You should also be ready to demonstrate your understanding of the meaning of passages and your ability to make inferences and draw sensible conclusions.

The Writing and Language section measures your proficiency with standard English conventions. There are 44 questions for you to answer in in 34 minutes. Most questions require you to provide improvements to the passages and sentences you're given. Some will be on larger ideas like sharpening arguments and developing ideas more clearly and precisely. For others, you'll make edits to grammar, punctuation, tone, style, or other similar conventions.

The Math section is made up of 58 questions, 20 of which are in the no-calculator section and 38 in the calculator section. You're allowed 25 minutes for the no-calculator section and 55 minutes to complete the calculator section. You'll need to know how to solve linear equations with algebra, use math skills in problem-solving and data-analysis questions, and understand, analyze, manipulate, and rewrite advanced mathematical expressions.

Finally, the persuasive argument Essay prompt requires you to analyze how and how well the author uses writing elements like using evidence to support their claims, developing ideas in a logical way and making the connections to back up their claim, and using word choice and emotional appeal to emphasize their ideas. In 50 minutes, you must read the passage, then plan an organized, focused, conclusive response. No part of the response includes your opinion on the topic of the article itself; you're only analyzing how the author presents their argument.

How can a Portland SAT class help me prepare efficiently for the test?

That's just a brief introduction to each section, and as you can see, there's a lot of content to review. Luckily, the SAT tests you mostly on things you've learned already, so some things will probably come back to you quickly. But there's no need to worry because all of the content that you'll see on the SAT will be covered in your course. If you face one or more areas that are particularly challenging for you, you're welcome to request one-on-one tutoring time to get up to speed. You can get as many hours of individually focused, customized tutoring as you need to reach the level of mastery you need for the SAT.

Taking standardized exams like the SAT comes with requirements different from classroom tests. One is the inviolate time limit for each section, and another is the potential difficulty understanding how questions are worded. Sometimes students feel like questions are purposely worded in ways that will trip them up. But just like you can learn to understand Spanish, German, or Japanese, you can learn how to understand the often tricky wording of SAT questions. If you feel test anxiety normally, it can be more intense during the SAT because of the higher stakes.

You'll be glad to know that during your Portland SAT classes, you can count on your instructor to discuss all of these and more. And they are likely going to offer plenty of strategies for each potential issue so that you can try them out and find one or two that work well for you.

For example, your instructor can help you practice closely reading test questions. Not only are they worded differently than you may be used to, but they use words like "except" and "not" at a rate that may be higher than you're accustomed to. The result of misreading questions with these words is generally giving the exact opposite of the correct answer.

In addition to reading questions closely, your instructor can provide you with retired or simulated SAT questions and walk through what the questions are asking for if you or your classmates find any of them confusing. There are many other strategies you can learn in a Portland SAT class that you might not have even thought of if you tried to study on your own.

How do I get signed up for a Portland SAT prep course?

Convenience is important to you as a busy student. Varsity Tutors offers a number of convenient options for SAT prep, including a choice between two- and four-week courses that meet virtually at different times of the day. Whether you want to meet online before school while you're getting caffeinated at the Cornell Farm Café before heading to Catlin Gabel School, during your study hour at Lake Oswego Senior High School, or at home on the weekends, we can find a class to meet your scheduling needs.

Registering for a Portland SAT course is equally convenient. Call Varsity Tutors, answer a few questions about your needs and goals, and we'll set you up with a class that starts within the week. We look forward to hearing from you.

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