Every student is familiar with the importance of the SAT exam. SAT is an exam that is meant for measuring academic excellence and determining whether a student is ready for admission in a good college.
Most of the decent colleges and universities are interested in knowing your SAT scores in addition to your high school result.
Of course, it is not easy to get a perfect score on the SAT test. There isn't a magic potion that can guarantee great SAT scores.
However, it is definitely not as tough as most students about to appear for SAT think. You can definitely master your concepts with some techniques and special SAT prep.
Adopting a smart approach towards your preparation and solving tonnes of SAT practice questions is sure to get you a good score. Let us take a look at some ways to improve your chances of a perfect SAT score without maximizing your study hours during your SAT exam preparation.
Setting a Goal For SAT Exam Before Beginning The SAT Exam Preparation
Setting a target score is the first step of your SAT prep. While doing this, remember, you must be realistic and challenging at the same time. Don't target something that you consider to be impossible. Although, don't go too easy on yourself. Determine your baseline score if you have previously appeared for SAT and set your target accordingly.
You can also join some SAT prep classes for a detailed analysis. This is a part of your SAT test prep, so don't ignore it.
If this is your first time, it is better if you visit the college and obtain printouts of SAT practice tests from the college board.
Most colleges have an SAT preparation booklet, a copy of which can easily be obtained from your High School counselor.
Find out the SAT scores that freshmen have scored in the college of your choice. This information is easily available online or in the college offices that handle the admission related tasks. When you appear for the first time, SAT prep classes can prove to be of great help. There is plenty of SAT help available online.
SAT Exam Tips:
1. Search for an area that offers peace and quiet for you to work for almost four hours. Make sure there are no interruptions in between so that you can analyze and solve your SAT practice questions in peace. Take the SAT help online to scrutinize the details.
2. Create the same conditions as that of the exam and time yourself for various sections of the paper accordingly. Remember to take a break for two minutes between each section and when you are done with three sections take a break for 10 minutes just like the examination. There are various SAT classes that organize mock tests under the same conditions. Consider enrolling in a test series. Nowadays, even online SAT prep can be of great use.
3. Conduct detailed research on how to grade the paper. After converting the scores of the sections to a scaled one set your goal accordingly. If you are adopting the approach of online SAT prep, then most probably you will not have to go through the trouble of grading yourself as there is a software to do the same.
Practicing Before The Test:
Since SAT is a lengthy paper with a duration of about 4 hours, it is incredibly challenging to maintain a good pace and a technique for answering the questions if a student is not well prepared. Be sure to download an SAT practice test set from the internet or solve mock tests online.
When you are practicing for questions in an SAT practice test refrain from any relaxation or laxity in time. Practicing under the exact same time constraints or conditions as that of the main exam will enable you to solve the test in a more systematic way.
Purchase an SAT Study guide. Some of the concepts that you might not find elsewhere are explained in detail in an SAT Study guide. You can also join SAT prep courses to ensure regularity.
Since the paper is a multiple choice type, there is no one to assess how you solved a particular problem as long as the end result is correct.
There are many questions with a simple trick behind them that can save you several minutes during the time when you are attempting questions.
It is important to learn those smart tips and tricks in order to increase the number of questions attempted. This can be done by appearing for SAT subject tests and targeting each section separately.
During The Examination:
After you are through with your practice, buckle up for the final test. There are certain things you should keep in mind during the paper to answer as many questions correctly as possible within the provided time constraint.
1. Determine how many questions you will attempt in the first go
When you get the paper, pick out the questions that you think you can solve without investing too much time. Set an aim for the number of questions you will answer first. If you get stuck somewhere, don't keep on lingering the upcoming questions. Skip the hard part and move on to the questions that strike you within a short span of time. Use the experience you gained by solving the SAT subject tests.
2. Do not leave anything
According to the revised rules of the SAT exam, there is no penalty or negative marking for wrong answers. This is due to the reason that the students waste unnecessary time on a question and even if they get an answer close to the options, they leave that answer blank in the answer sheet due to the fear of negative marking.
Therefore, it is a smart move to attempt all the questions as you will not get any points for leaving a question blank, but guessing can give you a chance of scoring even if you are not sure of the correct answer. Also, follow this approach during your SAT test prep.
3. Sequence Of Answering The Questions
Answer the questions in the sequence they appear to you. Most of the sections contain questions that start at an easy level and as the questions progress, the difficulty level increases. Some questions can be solved merely within a few seconds. You do not have to think much about them.
Be it easy or difficult, all questions play the same role in determining your overall score. Harder questions require more time and energy, but the points rewarded for all questions are the same. So it is a good practice not to waste time answering just a few difficult questions instead of going with solving more number of simple questions during the same amount of time.
If you think a question you considered easy at the starting of the paper is becoming too tough to handle, skip ahead, and solve the ones that you can answer as quickly as possible. When you are done with all the giveaway kind of questions, go back to the ones you were stuck at and start solving from the same point you left off. Start solving from the beginning only when you have some extra time.
If you solve high-level questions right, in the beginning, it affects your self-confidence. You are more likely to lose your confidence when you see that a lot is still left even after allotting so much time to a few questions. So, in a state of panic, you will mark some incorrect answers even if you would not have done them wrong in a normal and peaceful mental state.
On the other hand, solving more questions in the starting imparts a sense of self-confidence as you do not constantly feel that you are running out of time.
4. Keeping Track Of Time
Most of the examination halls have a clock. Even if that is the case with you, it is wise to bring your own watch and set it according to your convenience. This way you can simply keep track of how much time you have got and how much has been elapsed.
So, instead of wasting your time by looking up and down at the wall clock again and again and calculating the time elapsed, you can actually utilize that brain work and time to solve the questions.
5. Knowing How To Make Intelligent Guesses
As mentioned earlier, it is always a good idea to guess an answer and attempt a question instead of leaving it entirely blank as it gives you a chance to score. However, that does not mean you do not put any thought into the guessing game. Don't abruptly mark any answer without reasoning.
The best strategy for making an intelligent guess is to make an effort to eliminate the options that you know are definitely wrong. It is easier to eliminate wrong answers than making the exactly correct choice.
If you are lucky, you will be able to eliminate all the wrong answers, and even if you do not know how to solve a particular question you will be left with the correct choice.
For instance, the mathematics section is full of choices that you can make out in an instance that are not true. Like when you know that the answer is a fraction, but the choice gives a whole number or when the answer is positive you can leave out all the choices that contain a negative integer. A series of SAT math practice test can prove to be extremely beneficial.
6. Learning To Pace Yourself
The most critical part of appearing for any examination is that you have to be wise enough to decide how much time you are going to allow to each question. The question paper consists of questions of all the levels.
Some questions require less time, on the other hand, some require a great deal of thinking and logic. This is especially important when you are solving the math section. Learn from the mistakes you did while solving an SAT math practice test.
While it is important to think before answering any question, overthinking is never a good idea. You will end up with the same thought over and over, and this might waste a lot of precious time.
On the other hand, there are questions in which it is impossible to come up with a definite answer quickly. Even if they are easy, leave them for last. If you attempt them, in the beginning, you are bound to mess up the quick questions in a state of panic.
7. Be Cautious With 'None of these' And 'No change' Options in the SAT Questions
One of the biggest mistakes most of the students make is that whenever they see SAT questions that have a 'None of these' or 'No change' option, they tend to run towards it if they find even a slight difficulty in coming up with a correct option for that question. What they do not realize is that merely assuming that the answer is none of the mentioned options if you cannot find the correct one can prove to be fatal for their SAT result.
This mostly happens in the English grammar section in questions in which you have to pick out the error. It is easy to assume that a particular sentence is correct with no fault whatsoever. So, the students think that no change is required to correct that sentence.
In reality, most of such questions have a subtle hidden error that is very difficult to identify. You will only be able to pick out the error if your concepts of grammar are clear and your practice before the exam is thorough. You can join SAT prep courses to strengthen your concepts.
Re-read all the possibilities and sift through them before making any abrupt decision. The examiner includes such questions in order to confuse the student and test his intelligence. There are great chances of the answer residing within another option.
In rarest of the rare cases, the answer is 'None of these' or 'No change.' Although this does not mean you completely eliminate the option. Solve the question, consider all other possibilities, if none of them matches then make your move.
In conclusion, since the essentiality of the SAT test is immense, it leads to fierce competition. So if you wish to make your way into prestigious universities or colleges, for instance, Yale University and Harvard University you have to make a success-strategy and follow it.