Acing the SAT

TJCA holds SAT camp.
Aug. 08, 2014 @ 07:50 AM

Reading, writing and arithmetic aren't just the basics for school, they are also what students need to know to do well on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). 

That's why Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (TJCA) held an SAT Camp this week. The camp helped 12 students hone their skills in those subject areas and learn important test-taking strategies. 

"With the SAT being such a critical part of getting into college, the more practice they get the better off they will be," A.J. Quinn, high school math teacher, said. "The more topics they are exposed to, the better." 

Quinn and fellow teacher Greg Stearns were directors of the camp. Quinn worked with campers on math skills and Stearns addressed their reading and critical writing needs. 

"It's good to have people that know what they are doing to tell us about stuff," student Sully Carpenter said. "They are very knowledgable about their subjects." 

The camp began Monday and campers were assessed to determine their levels in each of the subjects. On Tuesday they were split into groups to work on subject areas. Each day they spent an hour and a half on each topic. 

"The kids are split up depending on what areas they are weaker in," Quinn said. "They went to where they thought they needed the most help." 

The students worked through the website, for online test preparation. They took practice tests in the areas of algebra, geometry and data analysis. 

"I'm enrolled as a coach on the website so I get to monitor their progress," Quinn said. "I monitor them on different sections of data and it gives you a certain percentile ranking for each student." 

The website also provided tips for the campers. 

"Whether they get it right or wrong, each question they do will give them an explanation for the answer," Quinn said. 

Along with the practice tests, Quinn also gave students test-taking techniques and strategies.

"I learned for the essay part to write it as an argument essay, with a thesis, counter arguments and conclusion and to incorporate more vocabulary," student India Venson said. 

Quinn said the most important strategy was to eat something before taking the test. He said if students are hungry during the test, they would not be able to concentrate. 

Quinn also told campers not to spend too much time on one question. If they could not figure out the answer, he encouraged them to skip the question and come back to it. 

"I learned not to guess because it will only hurt you in the long run. If you don't know it just leave it blank," student Michael Minder said. "I came to SAT camp to better myself and prepare myself for the real world."