SAT Prep: 5 Classic Books to Read

Summer is a perfect time to catch up on reading – and it’s a great chance for kids to get an early start on books they will likely need to read or know for testing, college, or simply understanding the culture. Many students who take the PSAT, SAT, and ACT often find the reading comprehension segments some of the most challenging.  Some may struggle to accurately interpret passages without the rest of the larger works to provide greater context.

College and ACT, PSAT, ACT Prep

Finding a few books with passages likely to appear in the ACT, PSAT, and SAT is not only a great way to practice reading comprehension in general, but it may also actually provide fantastic preparation by providing the full context of the passages included in the test. Here are some of the most often included books in standardized tests, as well as some that potential college students will likely encounter. 
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Jane Austen’s timeless classic has had numerous adaptations in film over the years, which alone is a testament to its legacy. Austen prose is absolutely beautiful, making Pride and Prejudice one of the most beloved examples of 19th-century British literature.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Most literature professors and scholars include Charles Dickens in the list of the most influential authors in history. Great Expectations is a staple of many higher education courses in literature. Great Expectations is equal parts enjoyable and challenging for most high school-level readers. Even if passages don’t appear on the SAT, reading Great Expectations is still a great way to prepare for higher level reading comprehension.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo is quite possibly the most well-known revenge story in literary history. It is compelling and thrilling, and most readers at the high school level will appreciate its darker themes and gripping narrative flow.
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
If you have seen the Les Misérables musical, why not read the original source material? Victor Hugo’s classic is a glimpse into French history, a political commentary on anti-monarchism. It is an emotional tale of regret and redemption. It’s a commonly referenced book, so knowing it ahead of the SATs can be a gift.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Herman Melville’s classic, Moby Dick, is often called one of the greatest novels ever written. The book captures the concept of man versus nature as well as man versus himself in a way no other novel has. Many high schools throughout the country include Moby Dick in their required reading lists. Any students who do not need to read it for high school should make time to do so on their own ahead of standardized tests. Check out your local library for free access to these classics. Some of these will appear on PSATs and SATs as reading comprehension section material, but even when they do not, reading them is not only enriching but also great practice for reading comprehension. If you have a student preparing for the SAT or any other type of standardized test, these books are a great place to start.  List of Recommended Reading for SAT Prep and Classic Reading List for SAT Prep  

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How Does TIA Help Their Students Consistently Score High on SAT Tests?

Tucson International Academy offers a tremendously successful business education program for middle and high school students. One of the most effective facets of this educational regimen is test preparation. Standardized tests, particularly the SATs, are a major cause for concern among students who hope to enter prestigious colleges and universities. Some schools have minimum SAT test score requirements for applicants and will not even consider approving entrance to a student with scores below these benchmarks. TIA’s SAT preparation program is the reason why TIA students consistently outscore other schools on the SAT tests.

How Does TIA’s Business Week Help?

Jonathan Basurto is an assistant principal at TIA and recently coordinated Business Week for TIA students, an annual event where TIA students dress professionally and interview with actual businesses in the area. Business Week is an integral part of TIA’s business curriculum, and Mr. Basurto believes that it offers a chance for students to gain some real-world experience of what entering the job force in business is really like.

Eleventh Grade Is Crucial for Business Sense Development

Business Week often leads to internships for students that provide valuable work experience, and most businesses are eager to offer job opportunities to TIA students, thanks to the robust curriculum and students’ consistently high SAT scores. Mr. Basurto believes that eleventh grade is often the most difficult for high school students, and the time they feel the most pressure to perform well on standardized tests like the SATs.

Preparing for the Future at TIA

The SAT preparation regimen at TIA lasts a full year, and students have the opportunity to take the SAT for the first time in eleventh grade. If they do not like their scores, they have the opportunity to retake the test and try to earn entrance into the colleges and universities of their choice. TIA graduates have been accepted to prestigious schools like Notre Dame, Stanford, and Harvard University.

What Makes TIA’s SAT Program Successful?

The TIA SAT program is successful because it offers thorough preparation all year long with multiple rounds of practice testing and has mandatory weekly SAT homework starting in eighth grade. This helps take the pressure off of students to perform at their best with just one chance at the SAT test. Each TIA student gets multiple opportunities to practice, which will lead to better scores when they take the actual test and therefore better their chances on applications to the schools of their choosing. Thanks to the tremendous success of the TIA SAT program for eleventh graders, TIA leaders plan to implement robust PSAT/SAT preparation courses for students starting in eighth grade. This essentially enables them to practice and prepare throughout their entire high school career and take the SAT with additional confidence. TIA does not simply prepare students for the SAT in hopes they pass; they empower them to score as highly as possible on the SATs which sets them up for success in their higher education.  

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5 Things You Should Consider When Preparing for College

5 Things You Should Consider When Preparing for College Preparing for college can be an arduous task that discourages people. For parents who have not attended college within the past ten years, they might find themselves lost in the process of helping their children apply. Nowadays, college is a process that starts well in advance, preferably from the birth of the child. If you as a parent or student have not started the process, do not worry. Every month we will cover different areas that are crucial during this process. Preparing for College: Elementary Students Parents need to speak with a financial officer, accountant, banker, or tax expert who is knowledgeable about their family needs and the necessities for college. The sooner you create a banking account for your child, the more financially advantaged he/she will be when it comes to choosing a college. Preparing for College: Middle School Students and Parents The focus should be selecting a career that sparks an interest in the child. The students should start visiting occupations that may interest them or attend career fairs like the one we have at Tucson International Academy. Even though the student may not choose a career path at this point, a general idea would guide him/her towards the right college. Preparing for College: Freshman and Sophomore Students Students need to plan their high school classes with the right college in mind. All colleges will require the basic general courses such as four years in Mathematics and English Language Arts, two years each of Social Studies and Science, and two years of Foreign Language, etc. Certain colleges however, may require specialty classes such as Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus, etc. Freshman and sophomore students should keep college requirements in mind when choosing their High School courses. Preparing for College: Junior Students Junior Students should be well prepared for the several college entrance tests (PSAT, SAT, & ACT) throughout the year. Certain fees will apply for these tests, yet students can talk to their high school counselors to find out whether they qualify for fee waivers. There are various websites that offer free online practice tests. We will cover these in the near future. Preparing for College: Senior Students As for senior students, this will be the most important year of your high school. By now, you should have already narrowed down your college choices. Keep in mind that if you have not applied to a college yet, you must do so now! At this point, you should be working out a plan with your parents/guardians as to how to pay for college rather than which college you are applying to. Preparing for college can be a monstrous task if taken lightly. But with the right plan, we can all demystify the process. Enroll Now Miguel Montemayor, Tucson International Academy  
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