Take the guesswork out of the SAT by understanding what the test is looking for and how to best approach it. Read on for the top ten tips for acing the SAT.
10. The SAT doesn’t reward or punish random guessing. What it does reward is educated guessing, or being able to eliminate at least one of the answers as incorrect.
9. Read for fun. Think about whatever interests you and what you’d like to learn more about and go from there, whether it be biographies, historical fiction, nonfiction books or the classics. Reading will help you absorb more vocabulary words that could end up on the test.
8. Learn to read faster. While you’re taking the time to read, also take the time to learn how to read faster. Try reading the same 100 words three times and timing yourself each time. Read as fast as you can each time, and practice speed reading on a daily basis if possible. Speed reading will help ensure you get to every test question and essay without rushing.
7. Defend yourself! This means choosing a side or strong opinion when tackling the essay section, and using two or three examples to defend your choices. Use an example per paragraph for best results.
6. The two passage soap opera. When reading two passage essays, use a diagram or chart to help you figure out what the heck is going on, i.e. who likes what and who thinks what about whom.
5. Learn the test’s personality. It’s not about the right answer so much as it is about what the SAT thinks is the right answer. Understanding the kind of answers the test is looking for will help your score go through the test-taking roof.
4. Plug it in, plug it in. Whenever you have a variable in the problem and the solution, choose a number that meets all the requirements and plug it in.
3. Smarty Marty and Straightforward Sam. One of the test’s personality “quirks” is that the questions go from easiest to hardest. Pretty “straightforward,” right? Get through the easy questions first, but don’t forget to save time for the harder ones.
2. Fill in the blanks. Make the vocabulary section yours by forcing yourself not to look at the answers first. Instead, find the gist of what fits in the blank and fill it in, then see which answer best matches what you came up with.
1. Practice, practice, practice. Finally, when gearing up for the SAT, remember to practice, practice, practice. Take at least three practice tests in preparation for the exam, or as many as you can stand to get the SATs on the brain.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be golden!
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