There are dozens of tips on how to ace the SAT therefore proving difficult to cull the useful and necessary ones from the bad optional ones. Having this in mind, some SAT experts and teachers compiled a list of top ten essential requirements for SAT preparation.
1. Doing practice tests.
Nothing is more effective in preparing for SAT than taking the actual test. Spare time after every one or two weeks to take a timed, full length practice test. This will not only aid in keeping track of one’s progress but also increase one’s endurance on test-taking. It is grueling to sit through a three and a half hour exam. It is therefore of great importance to learn strategies in dealing with exam exhaustion and figuring out how to set pace. Do an evaluation of your performance after every practice test and focus the next preparation work on the weakest areas. This test will help you familiarize with the various test sections, instructions and structures.
2. Learning the exam structure.
Except for the section on critical reading, all SAT questions are placed in an ascending order of their difficulty. It means that the beginning questions of a section are less difficult than the ones at the end. The time you spend on each question should differ, take minimum time on the easy questions and devote more time to the difficult questions. As for the critical reading section which is not arranged in order of their difficulty, one should master important strategies for example first answering oriented questions in details; the ones with references to particular line numbers and ending with the general questions.
Read articles on subjects you are unfamiliar with and look up any new words.
4. Studying vocabularies.
You can easily increase your SAT score by studying vocabulary. This will help you familiarize with the most commonly tested vocabularies on the SAT. You can employ the use of flashcards in your study.
5. Writing several practice essays.
The first part of the SAT test is essay writing, usually awarded 25 minutes. Planning, writing and proof reading an essay within that time is nerve-wrecking. However, practice makes perfect, the more times you practice your writing the faster and easier it becomes.
The use of calculators helps save up valuable time and prevent careless errors. Train yourself to use one and learn the shortcuts.
7. Memorize formulas and rules.
Although the SAT provide you with formulas, it is still of importance to memorize all the formulas in area such as Pythagorean Theorem, rules on special triangle, average formulas as well as exponent rules saving you valuable time.
8. Understanding how multiple-choice test works.
Except grid-in math and essay, SAT usually consists of multiple choices. This does not make the test any easier. However, it gives the test-takes an added advantage by being able to identify the grammatical concept being tested just from looking at the different choice answers. One can do answer choice elimination on a math problem by having them plugged back in the question equation. This helps one identify type of error to look out for.
9. Know when to skip a question and when to guess the answer.
If you have no idea on how to tackle a particular question, leave it be. Don’t waste time thinking over it when you can move to the next question that you can actually solve.
10. SAT being a ‘stress free’ zone.
Allow yourself to have plenty of study time for SAT so that when it comes to the actual exam date, you don’t have to worry about a thing. It is natural to panic; stop, shut your eyes and have a few deep breaths then resume the test. SAT exam is all about strategy and not intelligence. The previous day to the exam, spend time sleeping, relating, eating plenty of brain foods and relaxing.