Truth be told, the SAT and ACT are just reading tests. Sure, there are sections and questions about Science and Math. But these are just glorified reading tasks since each section and question requires significant reading comprehension. A word problem in Math, for example, is more about understanding how to translate words into an equation than doing the calculations. So, how do you get better at a reading test? No surprise here: you have to read. The more pertinent question is how do you get your student to read? How can you get someone excited to read, read and read some more? While there is no silver bullet that will automatically get all students to read more, here are three ways that might work for your situation: 1) Reading Bingo: A reward system for reading can work for some students. Create a bingo card (3×3 or 5×5) and place the names of challenging and interesting books in the squares. Once a student reads three or five books in a row, they can earn a prize. I tell students that they can pick some books, I will pick some books and together we agree on other books to fill up the bingo card. That way they are choosing books that interest them as well as finding new and interesting ones that I recommend. Despite the obvious extrinsic motivation of the reward, there is some intrinsic motivation in reading what is interesting
2) Create a Routine: Make any task part of your routine and it is easier to accomplish. Most of us are accustomed to checking emails, doing our exercises or otherwise following a routine for our daily tasks so why not reading? Set a routine of reading twenty minutes a day. Twenty minutes is not too much. That might be during breakfast or before bed time. Whatever it is, set the routine and hold to it. Once reading is routine, it will be easier to do. 3) Read Together: This last one may sound a bit cheesy for the older kiddos, but there is much to gain from reading with our children. Consider a family book club. Agree on a book to read (or you can take turns choosing the book), read it together and talk about it. Reading together offers an excellent way to dialogue and bond with your child. The fact that you model the reading is also extremely powerful. Since reading is so important, it is worth trying one of the above suggestion to get your son or daughter to read more. Don’t forget that the joy of reading is choosing books that are interesting. Find good books by searching online, asking friends or checking at your local library. The SAT and ACT reward those students that make reading a big part of their life. If there is any one way to get better at the SAT and ACT, it is reading. For more test prep tips and ways to succeed on the SAT and ACT, contact CROSSWALK today.