Let's get to know Mr. Settanan Suangburanakul (Ham), a KVIS Cohort 5 student who got an SAT score of 1590/1600

31 May 2022 : Location : KVIS: Kamnoetvidya Science Academy

Let's get to know Mr. Settanan Suangburanakul (Ham), a KVIS Cohort 5 student who got an SAT score of 1590/1600.

   🔍 1. What are your preparations like for SAT. Any tips to share to the juniors? (Kindly be specific here)

For the math section, I believe most Thai students (and especially KVIS students) are fairly comfortable with it and can easily score an 800/800. However, the main pitfalls that prevent me from reaching that 800 mark are careless errors.
I must admit that I rushed through the section without carefully checking my answers, resulting in a 780 and 790 on the first two times I took the SAT. What I did to avoid making these stupid mistakes was to go over each question twice and try solving it again with a different approach the second time, oftentimes plugging in the choices to check my answers.
I believe doing this will help everyone avoid missing 10 or 20 points in this section.

   👉🏻 Bottom Line: don't make careless mistakes 

The English section was a real pain for me. I started out scoring around 310 for reading and 300 for writing, totaling in the low 600s. Personally, I started by improving my writing section because there are test-specific skills that can easily be learned. I would do a real test on the weekend and spend my time going over my mistakes on the weekday. I recommend Khan Academy as the tests are a pretty accurate representation of what you will find on the actual test day, and it also provides a breakdown of the type of questions you missed. Doing so allowed me to see that my mistakes lie in certain topics like punctuation and expression of ideas (if you do not know what I mean, you can visit Khan academy, and everything should be clear). Then, it's just a matter of practice. Khan Academy allows you to do practice questions on certain topics that you need improvement on. Not only will this help with marking more right answers, but it should also build a thought process for each type of question that will prevent you from making stupid mistakes. 

   👉🏻 Bottom Line: identify the frequently missed question types and work on that

As for the reading section, I think there are both non-test-specific and test-specific skills. First off, to score high in reading comprehension, it's important to be able to comprehend. I tried reading articles with a similar language level to the passages on the SAT. These mainly include articles from the New York Times and the Economist. After finishing the reading, I would try to summarize the reading in my own words and ask myself some questions that are similar to the ones on the SAT. I would say that a lot can be learned through this approach, from learning new vocabulary to getting the big picture of the text. It is a long process that cannot be crammed, but I think it is necessary to obtain a high score. As for the test-specific skills, I personally used Erica Meltzer's SAT Reading book and Khan Academy. Many approaches can help with scoring a little bit higher. For example, we can use the line reference in the paired question to answer both of them simultaneously (if you do not know what I mean, you can do one practice exam, and it should be clear).

   👉🏻 Bottom Line: read a lot and learn some test-specific approaches

Some additional thoughts 

* I personally do not have experience with any tutoring service. My take is that if you can understand most English content on the SAT, you can practice by yourself through the resources I mentioned above. 

* I would like to also recommend r/sat on Reddit, where people will post questions and recommendations regarding the SAT.

   🔍 2. Has your three years in KVIS helped improve your English?

One of the main perks of being a KVIS student is how our teachers can closely guide us. I really appreciate the personalized feedback English teachers have given me on my writing and speaking skills. This makes it easy to pinpoint my weaknesses and focus on these issues. Additionally, I think that KVIS does a great job in providing real-world setups to practice my English. I can confidently say that doing literature reviews in seminar classes significantly improves my comprehension skill in advanced-level texts, which also boosts my SAT reading score. There are also several opportunities to practice my conversation skill, whether that's through teaching English to students around the Wangchan district or presenting my research project in international competitions. Lastly, the community here is unparalleled; my friends are always ready to support me and correct my mistakes without making me embarrassed in using English.

   🔍 3. Where are you starting your next chapter of life? Please be specific okay. Name of scholarship, field of study etc.

I have to say that being at KVIS really does shape my future aspiration. The group of friends that are willing to pursue what they really enjoy (despite not conforming to some social expectations) pushes me to explore more fields of study. After some self-exploration, I’ve decided that I would like to go into business-related fields, particularly economics and finance, through the Wiwattanachaiyanusorn Scholarship—a full scholarship from the Bank of Thailand for Thai high school students to pursue a bachelor's degree in economics, finance, computer science, mathematics, or laws abroad.

   🔍 4. What will you be studying there?

This fall, I’ll be doing a post-graduate year at a US boarding school to prepare for college applications and adapt to American culture. After that, I’ll be on my way for a four-year bachelor's degree in either economics or finance.

   🔍 5. Were there other standardized examinations that you had prepared besides the SAT. Can you share the other tests’ scores?

SAT Subject Tests: Physics: 800, Math II: 800, Chemistry: 800


   🔍 Any other advice/ comments you would like to make that you think were not covered by my questions, but will benefit knowing.

I would also like to share my SAT score progression to ensure that we can always improve. I first took the SAT in August 2020 and scored a 1430 (EBRW 650, Math 780), the second time in August 2021 and scored a 1490 (EBRW 700, Math 790), and the third time in May 2022 and scored a 1590 (EBRW 790, Math 800). Looking back, there were countless times I thought there was no way I could get past a certain score. However, if there is anything the SAT has taught me, it’s the idea that self-belief is the bare minimum to surpass our own expectations.