The SAT is one of the biggest exams you’ll take in high school. In fact, it’s the most important exam you’ve probably taken in your entire life. Don’t let that scare you. With a strong study plan and practice, you can increase your chance of success.
Create a Study Plan
Everyone has a different study plan that works for them. However, a good rule of thumb is to start out with a practice exam before you do any studying. This will give you an idea of which areas you’re struggling with and will save you loads of time. After all, why waste time studying the material you already know when you could be working to improve trouble areas?
Use a Variety of Study Materials
There are so many study materials out there. Your guidance counselor’s office more than likely has a number of books you can borrow and also has access to a number of practice exams. You can also purchase books online as well as take study exams online. If you really need extra help, consider signing up for a class through Veritas Prep or one of the other prep groups out there. The more materials you have access to the better.
Take Several Practice Exams
Do not rely on one exam to study. Take as many practice exams as you can, from a number of different websites. You can also purchase software with multiple practice exams. Take as many as you can.
Join Study Groups
Study groups are an excellent way to study for the SAT. Together, you and your peers can discover which areas you each need to work on and then you can pair off in smaller groups that focus on those skills, but are led by those that are good in those areas.
Learn Critical Reading Shortcuts
Many students struggle with the critical reading portion of the exam. This is usually due to the fact that they didn’t read the question properly. Begin by looking for key words, such as not or except, and then eliminate answers that you know aren’t the right answer. For example, if the question reads, “What materials are not needed to build a paper airplane?” You would consider the materials that ARE needed and then select the answer based on what materials were left to choose from.
Practice Writing Essays
Essays are another big portion of the exam that trip people up. The easiest way to prepare is to practice writing essays following the basic outline for writing an essay. You can then have a tutor look over you work and point out areas that need improvement. The more you write, the better you’ll get.
Learn to Use Your Calculator Correctly
Last, but not least, always make sure you know how to use your calculator to do complex problems. This is another reason to do practice exams. You’ll have plenty of chances to practice with your calculator and learn how to work out problems.
The SAT is an important exam that will determine which colleges you get into. However, it doesn’t have to be terrifying. By taking the time to study and practice, you can do well on the exam and get into a good college.