Are you looking for tips on how to prepare for the SAT? We understand that SAT prep can be daunting, both because of the size of the test itself and the weight it bears in the college admissions process. But preparing for the exam is actually a lot simpler than it may seem now, once you learn where to start.
5 Ways to Prepare for the SAT:
- Practice, Practice, Practice! The SAT is a standardized test. This means that it asks the same kinds of questions each year, so the best way to improve your score on the SAT is to become familiar with these types of questions through practice exams. The best resource, online or off, for studying for the SAT is the official SAT study guide that you can buy from the College Board. College Board, the makers of the SAT test, made sure the big blue book has a breakdown of the test, a review of all the material covered, and 10 practice tests, as well as practice problems throughout the review chapters. They want to make sure you have the tools you need to do your best when it’s test day.
- Take Timed Exams. Most students could do well on the SAT if given unlimited time, so make sure to take the practice exams with the time constraint. This way you can get used to thinking under pressure, and not feeling stressed if you have to skip problems. Remember you can come back to those questions at the end if you have time.
- Review Mistakes. Sadly, the blue book doesn’t have answer explanations for every question on the practice exams, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look back and try to figure out where you went wrong. I know better than most that after taking a practice exam, all you want to do is see your score and then forget about it. However, practice is meaningless if you don’t learn anything from your mistakes. There’s nothing wrong with getting a question wrong, but getting questions wrong for the same reason over and over again can be avoided by reviewing your work and learning from your mistakes.
- Take the PSAT. The PSAT is like a condensed version of the SAT, because it has the same types of questions with the same level of difficulty as the full SAT exam. Although most students don’t study at all for the PSAT, doing well gives you great opportunities to prepare for the larger exam and earn scholarships or awards. You can use the blue book to study for the PSAT, but it would also be helpful to take practice tests directly designed in PSAT format, which can be printed from the web, or found in several PSAT specific review books.
- Study for the Essay. The PSAT does not include an essay-writing portion. However, much of your writing score on the SAT depends heavily on the essay and is of the most difficult parts of the exam for many students. Make sure to read the blue book’s overview of the essay to understand the structure and answers your graders will be looking for.
- Note: The SAT is not the place to write an innovative and eccentric essay. In fact, the essay is entirely formulaic and can be easily prepared for as long as you put enough time and effort into understanding the structure and writing practice essays.
Even though studying for the test can be intimidating, remember that the SAT is a very predictable test. As long as you try hard to practice and familiarize yourself with the way the test works, you’ll see a huge improvement in your performance.
If you would like more resources, check out Bridgeway’s Easy Essay or SAT Prep Live Classes here and learn how to prepare for the SAT effectively. And don’t forget to stay tuned for our next SAT hacks- Tips and Tricks for Each Test Section.
Guest Post by, Audrey Farrell ~”Audrey, one of Bridgeway’s Compass Learning students, aspires for success in all her schoolwork and hopes to get a degree in Mathematical and Theoretical Physics. As she studied for the SAT she learned many tips and tricks to share with other students to help them succeed. Enjoy these SAT hacks!”