14 SAT Study and Test-Taking Tips to Get You Started

One college entrance test that is frequently required as part of the application process for bachelor’s degree programs is the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). A strong SAT score may help you stand out from the competition and demonstrate to admissions staff that you’re prepared to start your undergraduate studies, even if it’s only one component of your entire application and is optional at many universities.

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A few SAT techniques might help you raise your score, which would raise your chances of getting into the best institutions or schools on your list. To assist you in confidently preparing for the SAT, we’ve put up a list of helpful hints.

14 Strategies to Ace the SAT and Prepare

In order to help you feel at ease and confident enough to perform to the best of your ability, we’ve organized the advice below starting with pre-study and continuing until test day.

1. Examine the content and format of the test.

The 174 problems on the SAT are broken down into two sections: mathematics and evidence-based reading and writing (EBRW). You have three hours to finish the 174 questions. As you prepare to study, knowing what kinds of questions you’ll find in each part and how time you have to do them may be quite beneficial.

2. Complete a number of practice exams.

Take a free online practice exam before you start your study to learn more about your natural abilities and where you should concentrate your efforts. For instance, you might want to devote more time to studying math and less time to reviewing vocabulary if your practice test showed that you were confident in your vocab but you didn’t perform as well as in the non-calculator arithmetic segment.

3. Examine the errors you made.

Spend some time going over your errors on this practice exam and any others you take, and make a note of what went wrong: Did the time limit expire? Did you not comprehend the query or the process of determining the answer? Or did another incident occur? Understanding what went wrong can help you steer clear of similar mistakes on test day and identify areas in which you need to study more.

4. Invest in additional study resources like a SAT prep book.

There are many of SAT prep books available for purchase or can be accessible from your local library if you choose to study alone. They include mock tests, weekly study guides, pace strategies, thorough explanations of the examination structure, and study recommendations.

5. Enroll in an in-person or online SAT prep course.

You might also want to consider enrolling in a SAT prep course, which can provide extra structure, feedback, and assistance, in addition to a practice book. To find out if your school provides a prep course, speak with your high school counselor. If not, they might be able to tell you about nearby or online SAT preparation programs.

6. Sign up to study for the SAT.

There are several advantages to studying with others, whether you form a study group from scratch or join an existing one with friends. In addition to being more responsible for your preparation than if you studied alone, you may also get more support, which helps ease your anxiety before the SAT.

7. Get a tutor for the SAT.

More one-on-one assistance than you may receive from a study group or prep course might be obtained from a SAT tutor. They can assist you in creating a study plan and determining your strengths and shortcomings. However, keep in mind that tutoring might be costly. Should you decide to pursue this path, be ready to spend between $60 and $200 each hour.

8. Pay attention to your weak points.

Invest more of your effort in improving the areas of arithmetic, reading, or language where you lack confidence.

9. Go over the guidelines.

Even if you’ve taken a few practice exams and believe you know what to anticipate, don’t skip over the instructions in order to get to the questions on test day. Verify that you know what is expected of you. Instructions frequently include useful details to assist outline how you should answer a question.

10. To begin, respond to the inquiries you are familiar with.

Answer the questions you are familiar with first when you go through each section of the SAT. Considering that you only have a certain amount of time for each portion, this may be an extremely useful time management technique. After you’ve answered all the questions you know, highlight the ones you don’t know the answers to and go back to them. Keep in mind that questions usually grow more difficult as each segment comes to a close.

11. Apply the elimination procedure.

The process of elimination might be useful when you’re having trouble answering a certain SAT question with difficulty. Since there is only one correct answer each question, you can increase your odds of answering a question correctly by reducing your possibilities. In fact, you could discover that for some questions, removing all but the correct response will provide you the answer.

12. Make educated guesses about unknown questions.

Recall that your score on the SAT is determined by how many questions you properly answer, not by how many questions you finish. Thus, make an educated estimate if you’re unsure of the response. You can guess and there won’t be any consequences if you guess properly.

13. Practice effective time management.

When taking the SAT, especially for the first time, it can be easy to lose track of time. Make a note of the amount of time you have allotted to finish each part and monitor the timer to ensure you provide enough time to finish all the questions or go back to the ones you are unsure of.

14. To raise your score, retake the SAT.

To raise your score, you can take the SAT as many times as you like, but each time will cost money. Retaking the SAT once or twice is a popular option among students.