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SAT Study Tips

SAT Study Tips

With the end of the school year coming soon and SAT dates coming up, being well prepared to take the SAT and pass it is very important. Especially for the Seniors moving onto college soon. So, here’s some general SAT studying tips for those that are interested. 

Review what’s on the test 

The SAT is a timed test with over 100 questions, due to this a lot of students end up making mistakes due to time pressure. Being prepared by knowing and understanding what is exactly on the test can help with that significantly. 

There’re 174 questions on the SAT which are divided into Evidence-Based Reading, Evidence-Based Writing, and Math with and without a Calculator. Reading has 52 questions with 65 minutes to complete, its focus is on comprehension and analysis. Writing has 44 questions with 35 minutes to complete, it focuses on grammar, vocabulary, and editing. Math with the calculator is 38 questions with 55 minutes to complete while without math without the calculator is only 20 questions with 25 minutes to complete. Both focus on algebra I and II, geometry, and trigonometry. 

Create a SAT Study schedule 

While taking a practice test every so often may help a little, having a more consistent study schedule can guarantee more consistent results and keep you on track. Having more repeated practice can make sure that what you learn sticks with you. Focus on the stuff you’re not the best at, first. 

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You can start by choosing an SAT test date. When you know when the test will take place you can schedule regular study sessions. Typically recommend 2-3 hours a week of study. Don’t overwork yourself, just make sure the material sticks. 

Get SAT Study materials 

Being prepared before test day can affect how you perform. It is especially important if you’re studying by yourself, getting the SAT prep book, looking for SAT prep courses to take, SAT Study guides, and Khan Academy are all different things that you can use to get prepared. Choose whatever works the best for you! 

Take practice tests 

This is just an extension of the last, but taking practice tests can be very important. Taking a practice test can help you give a sense of what you are and aren’t good at. It can also get you used to taking the test timed. It can get you used to the pressure and speed, making you less likely to make mistakes due to time pressure when you do the actual test. 

Process of Elimination 

More so a tip is better for once you get around to the actual test, but still a very important one to say the least. Keep in mind that there’s only one correct answer for most of the questions and try to find ways to eliminate the others. Very useful if there’s a question you’re struggling with. 

The SAT is great at creating answer choices that are convincing but incorrect, so it’s way easier to find wrong answers than the perfect answer. Try to be very picky with which answer you’re going to eliminate. Incorrect answers are wrong for a reason after all. 

Review and understand your mistakes 

Probably one of the most important things you can do if you want to see major improvements. Try to understand what mistake you made, and how you’re going to avoid making that mistake in the future. 

Mistakes usually happen due to either time pressure, general lack of knowledge on the subject, you understood the question wrong, or made a careless mistake. Try to pay attention to patterns or consistent errors. Make sure you know what caused it to make sure you don’t make a similar mistake during the SAT. 

Hire a SAT Tutor 

Another way to help with studying, unlike taking SAT tests or study courses by yourself, you have someone with you to help you with it. They can help you identify what you are and aren’t good at and set up a study plan. So, if you’re having trouble with those things, and would rather work with a person, I would highly recommend it. Though be noted that a tutor can be expensive. 

Increase your reading speed 

Important for the reading part especially, being able to read the material quickly and accurately is extremely helpful and can also help with time pressure. Decreasing the time you’re taking reading the tests gives you more critical thinking and answering questions. Reading through and practicing SAT questions can help you become more familiar with the questions and language used.  

You can also use different reading strategies, decide if you want to skim the passage first, skip to the questions first, or read the passage in full. 


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