Helping patrons prepare for the SATs.

May 10, 2016 3:02:36 PM / by Lindsay Mullen

sat, mango

With high school juniors dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on their final papers, many are now turning their attention to preparing for that next (collegiate) chapter of their life. For your public library, that means the opportunity to help your college-bound patrons through one of their biggest obstacles on their college journey: the SATs.

While landing that perfect score isn’t easy, offering a helping hand is one of the best ways to get your patrons into their dream school (and also help them forge some new interests along the way!) Here are a few ways you can help your patrons confidently turn over their test booklets, and begin.

Offer SAT resources...but keep them fun!

Okay, okay - so maybe high school juniors who just wrapped up a busy year of academics won’t be in such a hurry to hit the books any time soon. However, with many students beginning to sign up for the SATs come fall, the summer is one of the best times for college-bound patrons to plan out the logistics of the test. While your library should have a few copies of up-to-date SAT guides for your patrons, there are many more imaginative ways to help students study up.

Even though your patrons will have to put some hours in to see results on their SATs, applying to colleges is an exciting time that shouldn’t be overshadowed by the fear of the SAT vocabulary and essay sections. Supplement traditional SAT resources with information on national colleges, including suggestions for how to fund a college education and how to pick the best school for you. Pretty soon your patrons will begin to associate studying for the SATs with preparing for a fabulous freshman year.

Providing study groups is another way to help your patrons prepare for the SATs. There truly is strength in numbers when studying for the big test—and we’re not just talking about knowing π and √2 for the math section. Give your patrons the option to reserve quiet rooms to study with existing groups and volunteer library staff to proctor test exams. You may also want to consider partnering with a local school or test prep company to offer on-site tutoring from an expert. Not only will the option of studying with a partner help your patrons to enjoy studying more, it’s also a great opportunity for students to work out tricky questions together and learn from other’s responses.

Et tu, Latin?

While reading SAT books cover-to-cover is one of the most obvious way to achieve that coveted 2400, there are many helpful hints to improving SAT scores that don’t involve checking out the latest study aid from the Princeton Review. Time and time again, one of the trickiest components of the SATs is the extensive vocabulary section that tests your patrons’ will power to memorize hundreds of words prior to the test. Help them brush up on their vocab by offering a range of challenging, awesome books. And don’t just rely on old standbys like Moby Dickwhich has one of the highest number of unique words in English-language books.

The SATs offer you the chance to help students understand the etymology of words, so that they’re better equipped to diagram and understand unknown words by breaking them apart. Instead of making your patrons kick their Sports Illustrated habit in favor of the linguistically challenging Ulysses, introduce them to some new Latin roots and suffixes that will help them work through unknown words.

Mango provides patrons with a quick and easy way to learn the Latin phrases that will come in the most handy during the SATs. For instance, while a patron may not be familiar with the word cryptogram, they may be able to work out the definition knowing that crypt means hidden and that gram means writing (hint: it means hidden writing).     

Excelling at the SATs doesn’t have to feel impossible for your patrons. With just a little bit of encouragement, they will be one Latin translation away from that perfect 2400. For more information on how to cater your resources to your patronbase, take a look at our white paper: What a Modern Public Library Looks Like Today.         

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Topics: Public Libraries

Lindsay Mullen

Written by Lindsay Mullen

Lindsay Mullen is CEO of Prosper Strategies, working behind the scenes to support the Mango team's world of lovable language learning. A language aficionado herself, Lindsay oversees a team of marketers fluent in public relations, content development and strategy (and they speak some German, French, Spanish and Chinese as well.)

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