The SAT is a standardized reasoning test that intimidates many high school students around the nation. Many colleges within the United States require that their applicants take the test.
The SAT test is comprised of three primary sections: critical reading ,mathematics, and writing. This 3 hour and 45 minute exam will play a large role in determining your future. So here are a few tips and tricks to raise your score.
Get in the habit of reading daily. Even if only for a few minutes a day, reading can tremendously improve your vocabulary and writing. Reading books also helps improve your reading speed, which will be useful with those long and tedious reading passages. Don't be a picky reader, read a variety of genres and authors. Try to read 50 or more pages a day.
Learn the Vocab:
Aesthetic, anachronistic, hackneyed, surreptitious, spurious, ostentatious.
Did you recognize any of these words? If not, you should think about brushing up on your SAT vocabulary. I cannot stress enough the importance of vocabulary. It's definitely a good idea to get a head start on memorization. You should memorize 500-1000 SAT words if you're aiming for a good score. If you're an avid reader, you probably already know many of these. There are certain words that College Board loves to reuse, so check out the most used words on the SAT. Leave yourself plenty of time before the test to study and reinforce the words. Memorize 10-20 new words a day and don't foreget to review old words. It wont be productive to learn new words only to forget the old.
Know Your Math:
You should be fluent in Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 before taking the test. Although the math level of the SAT is pretty low, the problem is high speed. Many students fail to answer math questions not because the problems were too hard, but because they ran out of time. Master all the topics: coordiante geometry, algebra, some statistics, and speedy solving. Do some practice math sections every day, even if it's just 10 problems a day.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
The most effective way to develop your time management skills is to put them to work through realistic practice tests and simulations. There's a lot of good prep books out there such as Barrons SAT Prep, Kaplan SAT Prep, and also Official SAT Prep from the College Board.
-Learn the section directions now. Don't even bother to waste time reading them during the actual test.
-Bring a watch to the test center. You can't be guaranteed that there'll be a working clock there. (Just make sure it's not the beeping kind!)
-Easy questions usually precede hard ones. You will need to breeze through the first few questions in order to leave time to think and answer the harder ones.
-Know when to skip an SAT question. Sometimes after reading a question, you know that you will not be able to come up with an answer. Rather than spending ten minutes trying to narrow down your choices, skip the question. If you have time at the end, you can go back and have another go at it.
-Understand the scoring! You get a point for a right answer. You lose a 1/4 point for a wrong answer. Know when to answer a question and when to skip it. This should be done strategically. There are five answer choices and a 20% chance of getting it correct on luck alone. It would actually hurt your score more to incorrectly answer than to leave it blank. So unless you can eliminate at least 2 choices, skip any question you haven't the faintest idea about the answer. You don't lose points.
-Don't spend too much time on any one question. You should spend only a few seconds on the easiest questions, and hesitate to spend more than 1-2 minutes on even the hardest ones.
Remember that the SAT consists of a series of small, timed, mini-tests. Keep track of the time you're allotted for each one and how much time remains. Time management is crucial for the SAT's.
-Contrary to popular belief, eating a huge breakfast may not be the best idea. I once knew a student who never eats breakfast, but boldly decided to eat a buffet on the morning of SAT day. She ended up sick during the test and unable to focus.
-Make sure that you don't eat or drink too much right before the exam. You don't want to waste test-taking time because you are holed up in a bathroom.
-It’s hard to resist the temptation to stay up all night and cram for the SAT. The fact is, you will be much better off if you spend that time resting. Make sure that you get enough sleep the night before. Your brain will thank you for it.
-Make sure you're ready, mentally and physically, for a long SAT test.