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The Do’s and Don’t of Studying for the Digital SAT English Modules

By Laura Whitmore

Today, I'm thrilled to share insights I've gathered from my extensive experience working with international students over the past six months. I’ve learned so much about the new digital SAT in the process, including what to do and not to do when prepping for the English modules. As a result, I created an effective prep program here at STP that includes intuitive lessons and effective strategies. This blog post will share some of my insights with you!

The Power of Targeted Preparation One of the biggest misconceptions students have is the need to take full tests right at the beginning of their preparation journey. If you're doing this, you're on the wrong track. Instead, focus on understanding question categories or specific types of questions one at a time. However, a word of caution: don't prep based on the categories provided by the College Board.

Why is this the wrong move? Well, the way College Board divides up the questions into categories (Craft & Structure, Information & Ideas, Expression of Ideas, and Standard English Conventions) results in students prepping on the toughest question types first without building a foundation in the basic skills that are needed throughout the entirety of the English sections.

Foundational Skills: The Building Blocks to Success Our approach at STP is grounded in the belief that a strong foundation is key. Here's a sneak peek into our strategy:

  1. Standard English Conventions: Start with the basics. Understanding sentence structures will not only help you tackle these questions (which carry significant weightage) but also give you a clearer picture of argument formulation.

  2. Pinpointing Pronouns: The digital SAT presents dense texts. As you navigate through these passages, you'll come across numerous pronouns. It's crucial to trace these back to their references to ensure you don't lose the thread of the argument.

  3. Words in Context Questions: Vocabulary is king! Build yours, and you'll find it easier not just to tackle direct vocabulary questions but also to comprehend the passages better. We teach our students various techniques to build a better vocabulary (like playing positive/negative and using linguistics).

  4. Transitions: Recognizing transition words can significantly enhance your understanding of the text, helping you identify shifts in tone or changes in arguments. If a student can identify what category a transition word belongs in (i.e. Support, Contrast, or Causation), then the modules go much smoother for them.

Diving Deeper into Foundational Skills To give you a practical understanding, I've prepared a detailed guide that delves into some of these foundational skills, complete with exercises and examples. Download it here to work through it alongside this blog.

For instance, in the guide, we cover topics like:

  • Lead Ins: Introductions to sentences that set the context. Recognizing and correctly interpreting these can be a game-changer.

  • Pinpointing Pronouns: Tips and exercises to help you ace questions that test your ability to trace pronouns back to their references.

  • Words in Context: A deep dive into building your vocabulary and strategies to decode unfamiliar words from the given context.

  • Transitions: Understanding the role of transition words in a passage and their significance in comprehension.

Join the STP Community If you're keen to take your SAT preparation to the next level, consider joining our community at STP. We offer personalized one-on-one tutoring sessions with experts who've scored 1500+ on the SAT. They're equipped to walk you through these lessons in detail, ensuring you gain mastery over each topic.

To set up tutoring sessions, please email us at

If you prefer self-paced learning, check out my digital SAT course, which you can access anytime, anywhere. Use the promo code "50off" at checkout for an exclusive discount!

To sign up for the self-paced English course, please visit

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I hope you found it helpful. Remember, with the right strategy and determination, you can conquer the SAT. Happy prepping!


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