The SAT is around the corner – follow these tips to make sure you score highly on the test!
Register for your test date.
If you haven’t already, you need to register for the test through the College Board website. Choose a convenient location from the list of options, and make sure you don’t have any other plans that date. Pay the fee, mark the date in your calendar, and start prepping!
Practice SAT-style questions and content.
This is where SAT prep books can be very useful. The SAT has some distinct sections and it’s best to prepare carefully for the exact content you’ll see on the test. From reading comprehension to linear equations, the way the questions are worded is fairly standard, so getting used to it early is most effective in the studying process. From there, take a timed practice test and see how you do.
Use a planner or a calendar app to schedule the time until your SAT test date. Start by blocking off school, extracurricular activities, work, and other prior commitments, then schedule in study time. Planning in blocks can be useful, with the intent of focusing on one section of math for two hours, or reading comprehension for one hour. Don’t forget to earmark some of the time for fun – too much studying can cause problems and you need time to unwind.
Shore up your weaknesses.
Use that practice SAT to identify your weak areas. Don’t skimp on other areas, even if you’re strong in them, but the bulk of your study time should be spent on your weak spots. For additional help, you can hire a tutor, attend an SAT prep class, or talk to your teachers at school.
Practice testing strategies.
The SAT has to be completed in appropriate sections, but that doesn’t mean the questions in each section have to be in order. Get used to skipping the harder questions and answering easy questions first. From there, you can circle back to answer questions that just need a bit of work, and then finish up with the hardest topics. If a question has you stumped, try using the process of elimination to rule out wrong answers. Sometimes you can narrow it down enough to figure out the right answer. On math questions, you can also try working backward – one of the benefits of a multiple choice test. Pay close attention to the wording of questions as well – they provide vital clues to the right answer.
Prepare the night before.
There are a few things that you can do the night before the test to ensure you are in the best possible position to succeed. First, review the last few concepts you’ve been struggling with. Then, put the books away. Engage in a relaxing activity to release some stress, pack everything you need for the test, and get a good night’s sleep. In the morning, have a good breakfast and head confidently to the testing center – you’ll ace this!
Preparing for the SAT properly can make a huge difference in your final score – put the time in and reap the rewards!