When I was in high school, I didn't prepare specifically for taking the SAT. Sure, I took the PSAT, but other than that, I didn't study any extra. And unfortunately I think that lack of preparation was reflected in my score. How much better would I have done if I'd simply made a concerted effort to prepare?
It might sound like an excuse, but there really are so many more options available today for preparing for the SAT than when I took it in the late 80's. If you visit the official College Board website, I think you'll see what I mean. A number of free online activities are now available to help students practice for the SAT.
Even though my kids aren't teens yet — well, my son turns 13 this summer (yikes!) — we're doing some test prep already. It's painless, but it's a great way to get the kids familiar with not only the content of the SAT, but also the structure of the questions. And it takes only a minute or so each day.
Each morning Jerah, Jaden, and I answer the SAT Question of the Day that arrives in our inbox. Some of the questions are, of course, harder than others, but even the hard ones provide a valuable opportunity to learn something. My kids are even having fun trying to answer these high-school-level questions, even if they don't always get the answers correct. And I'm having fun too, discovering that I've learned a little bit since taking the SAT so many years ago.
SAT (and ACT) test scores can be a major factor in a college application, especially for homeschoolers. Since college admissions officers generally don't look at a homeschooler's grades much when evaluating a college application, having a solid SAT/ACT score is very important.
I'd strongly suggest visiting the College Board website to see how you might be able to help your student prepare for the SAT.