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How to Motivate Your Son or Daughter for the SAT

In a school system that prizes grades above all else, ability over hard work, and conformity over individuality, it is no surprise that many high school students lose their motivation. When your child was a toddler they were full of curiosity and had a real motivation to learn about their environment. As they started school they immediately began to form opinions about their own abilities and self worth. Many times these initial opinions carry with them through school. It is reflected in their grades, and in their drive to succeed.

Today, they are facing high school, SAT tests, and college preparation. They need to find that drive to learn.

For many parents this is a huge concern, but, it doesn’t have to be. Here are five things you can do to help motivate your child:

1. Show them the value of hard work at this stage: Instead of yelling at your son or daughter for their poor grades (and effort), teach them. Show them what an education, from a good college, can do for them. Sit down together and research the starting wages for a few different jobs. Further look at the difference between an education in a good school, and that of a community college. A simple Google search is all that is required to find this information (if you don’t know how, they do).

2. Get involved and stay involved: Use a positive, interested attitude towards their school work. Know where your child’s grades are and monitor their progress. Help with school work that they are struggling with. The key is to show interest in them, and not make it seem like another chore.

3. Acknowledge hard work: Instead of making the focus all about grades, reward them for hard work. If they have made an improvement, show them that you noticed. This can further motivate them to make more improvements. Of course you want them to ace everything! But, if they are working to improve, they are taking the first important steps.

4. Support them in their individuality: Another important part of college planning is extracurricular activities. Help your teen to develop their own interests, by supporting them in their activities outside of school work.

5. Develop a plan together for the SAT(s): Instead of leaving this important test in their hands, get involved. Sit down together and make a plan to study for the SAT. Their marks on these tests can determine their eligibility to many good schools.

Help them by showing them how important they are, and getting involved with planning (and even studying). Motivation in this stage of your child’s life is important. By getting involved in all aspects of their high school year, not only will you develop a better relationship with them, you will also help to rekindle that sense of curiosity that they had when they were younger.

Top Test Prep provides SAT and ACT prep for students applying to colleges.

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