As students prepare to
take the SAT exam they search for secrets to beating the SAT. Some students
will take SAT Prep Classes, and others will take our SAT Online Crash Course. According to the SAT Experts, Here are the Top 4 Things a
Students Should do to Improve Their SAT Scores:
1. Look at your PSATs and identify
topics and skill sets that need more attention and focus primarily on those
Identify the areas
that you had a hard time with and need more practice on before you take the
real SAT test. Preparation is a key element for success on this test. The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd edition
is published by the makers of the SAT and
it contains 10 different practice SAT tests. After examining what areas
that you struggled with on the PSATs, practice those areas on the tests that
are provided. By purchasing this book, students can prepare for the test
on their own and learn more about the various sections and the reoccurring
types of questions that are present on the SAT. There are many helpful
strategies and study skills provided.
3. Focus on the different skills for
each section of the test.
Preparing for Critical Reading on
Knowing the meaning of
words and the various vocabulary on the test is imperative. Sam Rosensohn, the
founder and owner of College Planning Prep, says, “I knew students wouldn’t
like hearing this, but critical reading is not going away. Students
should look up every word in the critical reading section that they don’t
know. Knowing 15 words is the difference between a 1650 and an
1800.” Identifying the words you don’t know is crucial to a student’s
success on the SAT. Rosensohn said the three words that have recently
been appearing the most on the SAT and will continue to appear are, “Ambivalent
(meaning: conflicting feelings), ephemeral (meaning: fleeting), and pragmatic
Preparing for Math on the SAT
The most important
thing to remember when taking the math section is to SLOW DOWN! “Students
should remember its just as much a math exam as a reading exam. This is going
to sound counterintuitive to students; but slow down when reading
questions. This sounds counterintuitive because most students rip through
questions to get to the work, but it is critical to slow down and carefully
read through each question and unravel the opaque question,” says Rosensohn.
Another helpful hint to remember is unlike in school, the SAT test provides you
with the answers. When a students gets to a tricky question and they are
not sure where or how to start, Sam Rosensohn encourages students to work
backwards and plug in the different answers you are provided with in order to
determine which is the correct one. According to Rosensohn, “This test is
measuring aptitiude as well as math content, so the questions are tricked up
and slippery.” Make sure to slow down and concentrate on each of the
Preparing for Writing / Grammar on
Since the grammar
section is very repetitive and involves only a small amount of grammar topics,
students should not stress too much about this portion. “If everything
there was to know about grammar weighed 100 pounds, the grammar on the SAT test
would weigh less than a pound,” according to Rosensohn. Students should
focus on the grammar concepts that are found in the SAT Official Study Guide
tests and familiarize themselves with the types of grammar concepts and
questions that are repeatedly being asked. Rosensohn said, “The most
common grammar found on the test are questions that deal with misplaced modifiers,
ambiguous pronouns, faulty comparisons, subject-verb disagreement, and
adjectives that should be adverbs.” Reviewing these concepts that
repetitively appear on the test is important for students to do before taking
the grammar portion of the SAT.
4. The SAT is a Beatable Exam!
This fourth step
for improving your test scores is by far the most important step.
Learning the skills of how to take the test and understanding the scoring are
crucial. The best advice Sam Rosensohn can give to students is, “DO NOT
take the test cold.” Students should have enough practice under their
belts so that when they do take the test, they are prepared and ready.
Rosensohn pointed out that it is essential for students to know how many
questions they need to answer in order to get the score that they want.
Knowing the amount you can leave blank on the test is an important strategy
that every student should learn before the test.
If a student wants a 500 on the critical reading section, which would be
equivalent of a 45 out of 100, they need to answer a little more than half of
the test. For a 600, which is a 69 out of 100, the student should answer
most of the test, leaving about 15 percent of it blank.
By understanding how
the scoring works and knowing how many questions need to be answered, the
students have more time for the questions they choose to work on.
Rosensohn explained that preparation and knowing you can beat the test are two
of the most important things for each student to focus on. “I have
tutored thousands of students and when I am done tutoring a student, they are
no smarter than when they started, but their scores always end up higher.
This tells us that the more a student knows about the test, the more likely they
will score higher.”