SAT Exam

A Student Preparing for the SAT

Updated 2020

Easy Guide on Preparing for the SAT

The SAT is one of the most common standardized tests used for college admissions. The test has two main sections: Math, and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. The test is in the English language, and the highest score you can get is 1600.

The SAT is taken mostly by high school students applying for college. It is used to measure their readiness for college. Thus, colleges compare their applicants’ scores and choose those with good scores and other requirements. If you’re taking the SAT soon, here’s a quick guide on how to prepare for the SAT effectively.

Make a Study Schedule

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your SAT prep is to cram everything at the last minute. This doesn’t work for the SAT because this exam is about both the material and time management. You have to be fast in the SAT, and practice is the only way you’ll be fast.

Therefore, make a study schedule at least 3 months before the exam date. In this schedule, include the amount of time you’ll spend reading, practicing math, and doing practice tests. Make it a daily schedule, even if you’re only able to give an hour in the early days of prep.

Set a Goal Score

It helps you stay focused when you know what you’re aiming for. After about a month of prep, assess your abilities and make an estimate on what score you’re able to achieve. You don’t want to set unrealistic goals for yourself and be stressed during the exam if things aren’t going like you hoped they would.

Keep in mind what score you need to get into the college of your choice, and aim for a score higher than that. Scores higher than the required SAT score increase your chances of gaining admission into a college.  

Practice the Exam Material

The SAT has a reading and writing section, and math section. To improve your reading comprehension, spend about 30 minutes every day reading non-fiction work. This includes news articles, magazines, blogs, and academic journals. This will improve your ability to understand different kinds of written pieces – which is an important skill to have considering that a portion of the reading passages in the SAT exam are non-fiction.

Also, familiarize yourself with grammar rules of the English language and practice math without a calculator. There is a portion of the test for which you won’t be allowed to use a calculator and there’s another portion in which it’s better that you don’t use one. Thus, you should be quick at making mental calculations so that you save time.

Apply the skills you develop in official practice tests, and do so within the allowed time limit. Practice will help you manage your time on the day of the test.

Identify Your Weakness

Make a note of the sections you underperform in your practice tests, and devote additional time in improving your performance in those areas. If you’re struggling in the reading section, spend more time reading outside of your study time and do more practice tests of the reading section. With time, focus, and practice you will improve.

There’s no doubt that taking the SAT is a daunting task for a lot of students. However, if you give yourself enough time to prepare for it, you are bound to do well on the test.