How to Ace the SAT

Tips For Doing Well on the SAT Test

Formally known as the SAT Reasoning Test, this standardized test helps determine college admissions throughout the United States. Simply put, the higher your scores on the SAT test (scores range from 600 to 2400), the better your chance of getting into the college of your choice.

While the SATs can prove difficult for even the most dedicated student, many strategies are available which show you how to ace the SAT. From SAT prep and practice, to finally getting your SAT scores, a wealth of free SAT information is available for those who choose to use it.

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Know Your Target SAT Score

When preparing to take the SAT test, it’s important to know what results you’ll need in order to get into the college of your choice. Luckily, a bit of research will allow you to find the average GPAs and test scores for accepted applicants.

If your GPA is high, you may not need an above average SAT score. If, however, you have a low GPA, then your target SAT score is going to be much higher.

The important thing is to be realistic about your target score. If it seems attainable, then don’t hesitate to go for it. If you need a score that’s almost perfect, then you might want to look at colleges with lower entry requirements.

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Starting in March of 2009, people taking the SAT test multiple times will be able to determine which scores are available to colleges. This means you can take the test several times and only submit the best score.

If your school offers the PSAT (pre-SAT), you should also consider taking it. While it doesn’t officially count, this SAT prep will give you an idea of the kind of questions you can expect.

Study For The SAT

Even if you’re naturally good at taking tests, you’ll want to be sure and study in order to ace the SAT. SAT prep courses are available, and you can even purchase study guides which list actual SAT questions from older tests (such as the College Board SAT). Regardless of the method you decide upon, it’s important to develop study habits which work best for you.

And don’t wait until the last minute to study. If you’re serious about doing well on the SAT, you may want to start preparing as early as your sophomore year in high school. Take a challenging course load and read frequently (even when you don’t have to).

Being well-read is one great strategy in terms of studying, but it’s a long term strategy. Having a reading plan is one way to ensure doing well on the verbal portions of the test, because people who are well-read have better mastery of the language, including the vocabulary sections.

Beware Of Anxiety

Many students become quite anxious when taking the SAT test for the first time. However, be careful not to become too anxious, as it can negatively affect your test performance.

If you come across a question which you don’t know the answer to, just make your best possible guess and move on. A few wrong questions here or there will not destroy your chances of getting into the college of your dreams. Besides, colleges are also looking at many other factors when determining who to admit to their school (activity involvement, letters of recommendation from teachers, etc.).

The Night Before

It’s also important to use some common sense on the night before the SAT test. Get plenty of sleep, avoid drinking alcohol, and have a good breakfast. The day before the test, gather any materials you might need and place them somewhere that’s easy to find.

Also avoid looking at SAT prep material on the morning of the test. If you’ve adequately prepared, you shouldn’t need to. If you haven’t, cramming for a few minutes isn’t really going to help.

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