Should my daughter be studying for the SAT?
Yes! Most definitely.
An upcoming SAT exam date is Dec. 7, 2013. You should encourage your daughter to be brushing up on her vocabulary, math and writing skills. The SAT tests English grammar including usage, reading comprehension, and math content from their 3rd year in high school (e.g., junior year in high school).
Pay attention to your local newspapers and community bulletin boards, including local library and high school information boards, for announcements about SAT prep workshops. Typically these workshops are fee-based and will begin 4-5 weeks in advance of the actual exam. The advantages to these prep workshops are they provide explicit skill instruction in how to take the exam; they do not aim to teach specific math or English grammar skills.
The SAT is a timed test that lasts 3 hours and 45 minutes; it has 170 questions across 10 sections. The areas tested include reading (67 questions), math (54) and writing (49).
There are many SAT preparatory books which give your student much of the information that a workshop would provide. While the books can also be costly, check the local library for recent editions. There are also online resources, which will help your student become familiar with the style of SAT questions. We recommend at the very least your student familiarize her/himself with the style and format of the exam, as it will (should?) help your student score higher.
Finally, we recommend your student take at least 2 practice tests prior to the actual exam date. Try to make sure your student takes the exam under the same conditions as exam day. Your student should begin the exam at 8 am; adhere to the 3 hours and 45 minutes; stay sitting in the same location/seat and do not eat/ or drink during the exam. Encourage your student to practice not just answering the questions but the physical conditions that the exam demands.