The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is a globally recognized college admission test used to assess a student’s academic readiness for college. A good score in this test eventually helps in 1) pursuing undergraduation in the right college; 2) obtaining the financial aid and scholarships.

Below there are some ways to consider while preparing for this vital test:

  1. Advanced planning

This is the most important step for students who seek admission in a good college. Since SAT tests student’s knowledge of reading, writing (essay writing, specifically writing exemplification and explanatory essays) and math (which are taught every day in high school classrooms), early planning helps in strategy building and improving the required skills in these areas. It is the fact that cramming and short-term preparation are not a substitute for hard work at school.

  1. Know the test

First, understand the test pattern, scoring method and difficulty level of each section. It is advisable to take the first test during junior year of high school, which helps in getting acquainted with real-test conditions and analyzing the student’s level of knowledge in each area. All these critical steps will be useful in earning the best score in the final test.

  1. Practice – Practice

The old adage “practice makes a man perfect” is 100% true in case of exams like SAT; practicing sample questions and doing as many mock tests as possible will definitely lead to the maximum score in this test. To support test seekers, there are various online resources available for practice tests along with the explanation of the answer for each question. These websites can be utilized effectively to analyze individual strong and weak areas, and focus more on the shortcomings.

  1. Build strategies for each section

There are three main sections in the SAT: critical reading, writing and mathematics; each section needs different ways of approach. There is no standard method to follow in case of critical reasoning section, different people use different techniques to deal with this section. It is better to follow a method that suits an individual. However, being focused is a fundamental step to gain a decent score in this part of the test; by keeping oneself engaged in active reading is the key to becoming more focused.

Knowing the formulas and ability to apply those formulas at the right place are vital to succeed in mathematics section; to become proficient in the application of formulas, one should solve more and more problems. In case of the writing section, special attention is required; choosing the right vocabulary, being able to format the writing in varisou academic styles such as MLA, APA, Chicago, etc. and organizing the thoughts in a logical flow are necessary to get the best score. Moreover, avoiding the grammatical and spelling errors is a must.

  1. Be selective

Since -1/4 point will be subtracted for each incorrect multiple-choice question, choose the questions which can be answered confidently. Remember, most of the students miss the order while bubbling, so be cautious when filling the answers in Scantron. Considering the fact that the raw score will be rounded-off, maximum two answers can be guessed (as answering these two questions incorrectly will not impact the final score). In case of math section no points are deducted for an incorrect response, so it is worth answering all the questions in this section.

  1. Final preparation

Along with regular test preparation, following points should be taken care of to avoid last minute hassle:

1) Check the test day tips and policies on the College Board website.

2) Visit the test center at least two days before the test date and evaluate the time taken for the journey, then plan the travel accordingly.

3) Good food and sufficient sleep are essential before the test day.

Finally, understand the importance of the test, plan well in advance and dedicate a significant amount of time to everyday schedule, as we know advanced planning with proper execution ultimately leads to success.

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