Top 5 SAT Strategies You Should Know

SAT is a standardized test created by the College Board to evaluate students applying for admission in US colleges and universities. It comprises of two sections –Math and Combined Evidence-Based Reading & Writing. The optional essay section is graded separately.

A new SAT test format was launched in 2016 with some significant changes to the test pattern and rules. To name a few, the test now has a fixed sequence of questions, unlike the older version where the questions were put randomly. The math section now has two sections. However, only one section permits the use of a calculator.

Let’s go through some SAT exam tips and strategies that help students prepare and improve their skills to get to their desired SAT scores.

Practice Tests Based on New Format

This is an important SAT exam tip is follow. Practicing in old format may not be helpful. Mentioned below are the checkpoints to make sure the SAT Practice Tests are in the current format: 

  • Check the test is scored out of 1600 (instead of 2400)
  • There are 4 answer choices for each question (instead of 5)
  • There are no analogy questions

Study the Best SAT Prep Books

The Official SAT Study Guide (Official Study Guide for the New Sat)

Aligned to new SAT test format this guide from College Board has:

  • 8 official SAT practice tests, written in the same pattern as the real test.
  • Detailed descriptions of the math and evidence-based reading and writing sections
  • Targeted practice questions for each SAT question type
  • Guidance on the new optional essay, including practice essay questions with sample responses

The Princeton Review Cracking the SAT Premium Edition with 8 Practice Tests, 2020

The book contains 8 full-length practice tests, content reviews for all test sections, SAT study strategies and access to premium online extras. It contains:

  • Comprehensive subject review for every section of the exam
  • Useful optional essay tips
  • Access to premium online exclusives

The Princeton Review SAT Practice Tests (Extra prep)

Starting your SAT prep early, a test a week from the book is a good SAT strategy to follow:

  • The book has 10 Full-Length SAT Practice Exams
  • More than 1,500 questions containing detailed answer explanations
  • 9 sample prompts for an optional essay and one experimental section
  • Self-scoring reports help assess and track test performances to gauge ones learning progress regularly to improve practice test scores

Related Blog: SAT Practice Questions for your test preparation

SAT Math Strategy

Learn and Revise the Concepts

Invest more time in understanding the concepts that you are going wrong with. Write and revise until you get the concepts right to solve any Math problem based on those concepts.

For all the questions you get wrong, write down, and revise the steps to the right answer. Follow this SAT study tip to know the logic behind the right answer. For example, if there are 50 different types of math problems practice all of them using this method. By the end of your practice, you should be able to solve these problems correctly every time.

Variables and Numbers

When the questions have variables and answer choices have numbers, you can avoid algebra altogether. Plugin the numbers from the answer choices into the original algebraic equation to see if the problem works out fine. This SAT strategy is effective on the radioactive decay and exponential growth problems on the New SAT.

SAT Reading Section

Practice Deep Reading

An SAT study strategy to follow is to develop a habit of reading long passages. Reading long text has become a challenge as most of the time in the real world primarily due to social media attention spans have gone down. To become accustomed to reading well practice reading non –fiction material without missing out on vital information

Context is Important

Not paying attention to the context while reading passages may lead to incorrect answers. Reading a word alone in a question and wasting time looking for it in the passage will often lead you to read back and forth to guess the answer. To be sure of answering a question correctly reading the entire passage carefully is vital.

For example, if a question has a reference of a particular line in passage to get the meaning of a word, it will not be enough to just read that line alone. To get the right answer to understand the context in which the word has been used is important. One will have to read a few lines before and a few after it to arrive at the right conclusion. Reading less generally leads to making assumptions that can leave you unsure of your answers.

Related Blog: Which SAT Coaching Institute is best suited for me?

SAT Writing and Language test

The test is designed to assess how well you can revise and edit texts, given in the form of passages. There will be four passages with 11 questions associated with each passage. The text style in the passages ranges from argumentative, non-fiction narrative to being explanatory in giving information. The questions test students on improving the development of a topic, and organization of information and ideas.

Graphs and Charts

The writing and language test may add complexity to its passages or questions by including one or more tables, graphs, or charts as a supporting point related to the topic of the passage. Such passages may have questions that ask you to use the information given in the graphs to correct a factual error in the passage or replace the passage’s vague description with a more precise one using specific numbers. The questions will not ask you to make corrections in the graph itself. Such questions test a student’s ability to understand and represent factual information correctly using the language.

Your SAT strategies can be altered depending on your strength and weaknesses. Following these SAT exams and study tips master the strong areas first then devote more time to strengthening your weak areas with regular practice and revision.

If this article has helped you plan ahead for the SAT exams 2020, be sure to share it to help others who might be looking to take the exams. Good Luck!

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