We all have that time in our lives when we thought that we could dictate how our lives turn out, but it seems we can’t. Growing up I had the opportunity to see my cousins fly to the US to continue their higher education; I was in primary 2 when the last of them left. I continued to carry on with my education without any hopes for an education abroad; this made me put down all I had in me to become a successful student. I am going to be sharing my personal story and how it led to me being here.
In September 2015, I had just graduated secondary school with high expectations for what is coming next- university. I took the JAMB and WASSCE of which I had good results that qualified to enter a university. After the whole graduation celebration, I guess my head was still afloat in the fantasy of finishing an aspect of my education. I was to take the Post UTME examination for the University of Ibadan, a university known to be ranked among the top three in Nigeria every year.
Read: How to register for SAT
I took the exam with all confidence that I was going to pass the exam but as it would happen I fell two marks below the cutoff for any engineering course at the university which was quite disheartening. I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t entering a university; it was like a dream crushed. As God will have it, my parents decided that I should take the Cambridge GCE A levels which was solely intended to get a direct entry access to the University of Ibadan. While taking lessons for the A levels exam, I had the opportunity of exploring my inner self and what I was capable of doing thanks in a large part to the teachers I met.
I took the A level exam and came out with a good result, not an excellent one by me. I had qualified to enter the university (University of Ibadan) as a direct entry candidate which if you recall was the main reason I had gone to take the A levels exam. After this, I decided to take the SAT while awaiting decision from the University of Ibadan. I took the SAT and the TOEFL together so as to save time, I excelled in the SAT but got an average score on the TOEFL. This started my aspirations to apply for admission into a U.S college.
Now to the main reason for this article, I would like to say if you have decided to take the SAT, then you have done a good job. The SAT is one of the two standardized exams used to select candidates for admission in the U.S with the other being the ACT. Taking one is okay but of you have the opportunity to take the two, do it. There are stages in everything in life the SAT not excluded which is what I would like everyone reading this article to know. You have to possess that thirst to learn new things (which is one of my secrets to passing SAT) mainly because you are going to be learning whole new things on the SAT except if you have had an American style of education.
On the SAT, you’ll be learning a whole new English system: writing, analysis and a lot of other skills. While the Mathematics side of it should be pretty straight forward for a student that followed the Nigerian system of education. The SAT consists of two sections: the Mathematics and English sections with a choice for an optional essay writing which I will advise you to take as it will boost your chances of getting into colleges that require an essay option.
One final piece of advice, find that thing that will make you give it your all when preparing not just for the SAT but also for future exams, it may be food, sleep (not too much), anything that can keep you motivated because you’ll need it. And remember you are solely responsible for your success (or failure), so make wise decisions.
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In summary, my key secrets to passing SAT are:
Key Secrets to Passing SAT
- Keep yourself motivated
- Aim high
- Believe you can make it
- Thirst to learn new things
- Find what will make you give the exam your best
- Work on your writing and analytical skills
- Prepare very well for the exam
- Follow the Nigerian system of education for the mathematics aspect (it is pretty simple)
Author: David Ajibade (A student in one of the best universities in the US)