5 Proven Strategies for Better SAT Scores


What is a good score on the SAT? Will I be able to improve my SAT scores? These questions keep pestering the SAT test takers all around the world. You have to set the target score based on both the university and the course requirements.  Do in-depth research to identify what your dream university requires for the course of your choice.  Let us now see how to improve the scores on the SAT.  For someone looking for an improvement in scores, you should have taken either the actual SAT or a sat exam mock test. There is no fixed procedure for a specified score improvement on the SAT. It depends on a few factors:

  1. How much time do you have for preparing for the SAT – The more the merrier.
  2. How dedicated are you in achieving your target score
  3. If you are already scoring higher, improvement in scores might be difficult.
  4. Not all the sections warrant the same kind of improvement. It might be easier on Writing and Language for some and on Math for others. Reading might be a tough nut to crack.

All said and done there are certain time-tested strategies that will help you in improving the SAT scores.

Related Blog Post: Choose Your SAT Test Dates: 2021

Strategy 1: Use good quality SAT prep materials

Strategy 1

What are the skills you should know while taking up the SAT: Math, Reading, Writing and Language, and how to take up the SAT. SAT may not be the hardest test in the universe, but definitely, it is one of the trickiest? The materials you use should mimic the actual SAT questions and your SAT online prep must train you in tackling these convoluted questions.  Keep this at the back of your mind while purchasing the SAT books. Take professional help if need be.

The College Board suggests the students take AP exams to improve their SAT scores. Khan Academy, the official partners of the College Board, has free prep materials related to SAT and other skill building in the form of quizzes and games. You can use the PSAT related scores to create personalized SAT study plans.

Look for the latest syllabus and update yourself with what this test is about. Your prep material should also relate to the SAT syllabus  only.

Strategy 2: Create an effective study schedule

effective study schedule

SAT covers a wide variety of areas, and it will be challenging to keep a track of what you have learnt without a proper schedule. The schedule should tell you how many hours you should prepare every day when to prepare, and what to prepare. Bite only as much as you can chew. Break the SAT content into workable pieces and learn them. There are many free SAT prep schedules available. You can choose one and tailor it to your needs based on the time availability. Any blog on SAT preparation will insist on practice, and we are no different. Practice, Practice, and Practice should be your motto.

Strategy 3: Take Practice Tests

Take Practice Tests

The PSAT NMSQT along with the PSAT 10 and PSAT 8/9 gives the students an opportunity to experience the real testing environment, understand their college readiness, and identify their strengths and weaknesses.  Either PSAT or a SAT mock test online will help the student identify where they stand. The prep for the actual SAT begins with these tests. Try to recollect the questions you found difficult to handle on the test and what new concepts did you see in the Writing and Language and Math sections that you are not familiar with.

You might have seen the total and the area scores but might have missed out on the subscores. There are seven sub-scores on the SAT namely:  Command of Evidence, Words in Context, Expression of Ideas, Standard English Conventions, Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, and Passport to Advanced Math. These scores range from 1-15 and show how you have performed in every aspect of the SAT.

SAT is a nearly three-hour test without the essays. So, writing the SAT is like running a marathon. Can you join a marathon and complete it? The sat online practice test will help you build the stamina for D-day. Include the practice tests from your course and the College Board practice tests on a regular basis.

Strategy 4: Optimize your preparation

Optimize your preparation

We have already spoken about managing a schedule for the preparation of SAT. Your junior and senior years come with other challenges too. You need to concentrate on the school curriculum, co-curricular activities, extracurricular activities, and other entrance exams too. So that leaves you with precious little time to prepare for the SAT. Avoid distractions. Your parents or friends might interfere with your preparation. Don’t leave room for this. Keep your mobile phone away and try to concentrate on things at hand. You will probably end up using just half the time you required below.

Also, your prep material may contain many basics that you are already familiar with. So don’t spend too much time in those areas. Use your practice test as your guide. Figure out where you have made mistakes. Check if it is a silly mistake, conceptual mistake, or an application mistake. Learn the new concept and also, learn how to apply the concepts to the SAT problems. Make it a point not to repeat the mistakes in the next test. Your mistakes are your stepping stones. Professional help will go a long way in helping you find the weaknesses and guide you with remedial measures.

Work on areas that are your biggest concerns rather than giving an ego boost by working on easier areas.

Strategy 5: Face the Test

Face the Test

You may have inhibitions about taking a 3 – hour long test. You may be dazzled by the idea that you are competing against millions of students. Added to this there will be parental and peer pressure to come out with flying colors. Also taking a timed test may not be everybody’s cuppa? But what else can you do other than face it? Remember these pressures don’t disappear after your test. They continue with you lifelong. So learn to live with these stresses. Make them a part of your life. Learn breathing and meditation techniques to keep yourself cool. They also help in improving concentration.  On the test, the day doesn’t panic. Do the easy ones first. They all have the same weightage. Skip the harder questions that you are not aware of. This could help you save time for the easier ones. Remember you might have a chance to take the SAT again. So, don’t get perturbed.

Section specific strategies:

  1. Reading


The students who perform poorly in this section are not exposed to the kind of passages they see here. So, improve your reading skills. But at the end of the day remember the answers always come from the text. Also, manage your time. Practice using a timer as it is a timed test. Remember not to spend too much time reading the passage that you miss out on the questions. After all, you get marks only for answering the questions.


  1. Writing and Language


In this section too, time is a major constraint. Use a timer for this section too.  Learn all the grammar and punctuation rules so that you can save time on those questions which can be used for the style questions.

  1. Math


Learn the formulae and to save time use strategies such as estimation and plugging in. Don’t just practice the hard math questions, rather work on the SAT kind of questions. Working on the SAT math practice test will help you boost the scores in this section. Imagine an 800 in this section could boost your total scores and can make admissions into the math or science stream courses easy.

Accepted that SAT is a major milestone in the life of a student. So, make use of all the resources available to you and chalk out the best plan you can to reach your dream goal.

Related Blog Post: How to take an SAT Mock Test?

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Are you a student of IGCSE or  IB Board? The subjects you study are correspondent to your career aspirations or plans for further education. IGCSE core subjects will help you build a strong base for the SAT since they cover a significant portion of the SAT syllabus. So improve your grades by studying with the best tutors. Know More

Here at Manya, you can get your desired score with the help of the best SAT coaching with a personalized study plan, student portal, detailed score reports, refreshers, proctored mock tests, and much more. Here, you can access the top SAT scores of Manya Students.


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