Lesson No. 1: Read the Newspaper!

Before you do anything about any test or course, feed your current news awareness! Choose a favorite news source from the below list and download the app for that news source to your smart phone. If you do not have a smart phone, get a subscription to the hard copy. If you can’t get a subscription, go to your school library and read the front page every day or go to a local public computer cafe and read the top stories.

If you have a smart phone, set your app to send you all top stories in real time so that you can see them as they happen. Make a habit of reading these notifications in the morning and evening. Now. Read the news notifications every morning and every night. If you really want to impress your teachers, check out the top notifications at lunch every once in a while. This will not only be a strong preparation for the SAT, it will help you be more successful in your day to day academics, especially in your history/social studies and English courses. Do not wait. Do this now.

  • New York Times
  • Washington Post
  • BBC Online
  • Associated Press
  • Or any national/international new source that is highly credited and widely read. This does not mean Buzzed or Gawker or any other pop culture site. It MUST be a highly accredited journalistic news source. Pop culture news sources are definitely valuable and have their value; however, in the standardized testing environment, you must diversify your awarenesses. Do not choose a small local paper. Local papers are fantastic on many levels, but you are using this news source to stay current with national and world events. This is essential. Do not under-estimate the necessity of being aware of national and global politics, culture and more.

If they aren’t already, encourage you family to subscribe to the same apps. If you don’t think your friends will disown you, encourage friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, best friends to do the same. It is important that engage in discussion daily on the topics that come up in your news source. This process will absolutely and unequivocally give you a significant testing edge. To not do this will as certainly put you at a disadvantage.