One mom wrote to me, concerned that her child's SAT scores might be low because he hadn't yet finished Algebra 2. She wondered if they would be better off rushing through Algebra 2 at break-neck speed, hoping to increase his test scores.

I do think that being 1/2 way through Algebra 2 may have affected the scores. When finished with the course, math section scores should increase. It can help if you re-take the test in June, rather than March or May. That will allow for the maximum amount of time to learn Algebra 2 AND practice the math portion.

I don't think you should accelerate through Algebra 2, though. The test doesn't contain a ton of Algebra 2, just some. That's why I think the scores will improve more with practice on real tests, rather than finishing Algebra 2. Plus, you want your children to learn the concepts WELL so that next year they can be successful at pre-calculus. If you push too hard, kids get frustrated. They may decide they hate math, or they may not have enough of a foundation to do well in math next year.

I would not accelerate the speed of math. I would work at the normal speed, but work conscientiously on math. Even when other subjects might be skipped for a day, don't skip math. I would also give one section of one sample test each day. Scores will improve with practice - even when you don't "get smarter" because you're learning to "test smarter."

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