How to Prepare for the May 2021 SAT Exam

 

The month of May is one of the most hectic periods in a student’s life. Some of the students might be having the board exams while others might be busy attending coaching classes for the entrance exams. Another addendum to this list is the SAT General Test. Let us look into the May test and its pros and cons before we take a peek at how to prepare for the same.

Important Dates pertaining to May 2021 SAT Exam:

Early Registration via Representation: 24 March 2021

Deadline for Registration: 8 April 2021

Deadline for Change: 27 April 2021

Accepted ID: Valid Passport or Aadhar Card

 

International Fees                    

Without Essay: $52 + $49

With Essay: $68 + $49

Subject Test: $26 (Registration Fee) + $22 (per test) + $49

SAT Exam Eligibility: No age limit, can be taken any number of times

Remember the SAT Subject Tests are available just two more times in May and June.

The other SAT exam dates include the ones in March, August, October, and December.

 

When will you receive the SAT score?

You should start receiving your scores by 21 May. It may get delayed a bit sometimes due to certain reasons. The four free score reports will be sent to the colleges within a week’s time of you receiving them.

When will the colleges process the scores?

Not all Universities and Colleges process the scores right away. Some of the colleges have an early decision and early action happening between November 1 and November 15. The regular admissions happen from January 1. Some of the colleges may opt for rolling admissions.

 

Advantages of Taking the SAT in May

  1. If you get the required scores in the May administration, you can spend the remaining time working on your profile including academics.
  2. Even if you did not score well, you have two more opportunities to take the test. This means you have enough time to work on your weaknesses and improve your scores.

 

Disadvantages of Taking the SAT in May

  1. If you are taking the AP in May and Subject tests in June, you may be running short of time. For some, the board exams may coincide with SAT dates.
  2. You may not have time for a personalized preparation which you can take up during your summer holidays.

 

How to prepare for the May 2021 SAT?

If you are reading this article, you have either started preparing for the SAT or have plans to do it in the near future. Both the groups need different approaches towards the test.

What should the beginners do?

What should the beginners do

  1. Know about the SAT:

The SAT is a paper and pencil test. It has four sections to it: Reading, Writing and Language, Math without Calculator, and Math with a calculator. There is an optional Essay that will be administered for the last time outside the US. Make yourself familiar with the SAT exam syllabus. To know more about the SAT test, SAT registration, and sending of scores, visit the College Board website.

  1. Set your target score:

The target score depends on the course of your choice and the colleges. So visit the university websites to find out the requirements for the department of your choice. Also, see if the score selection option is available in those colleges.

  1. Start Looking for the right Prep Course:

Take a test to know where you stand. Based on the diagnostic score, you can choose a SAT course for preparation. Make sure you have a study plan to complete the preparation before the test date and have time left for practice. This could mean spending more time per day for the preparations. Also, the SAT Coaching you are choosing should provide the right kind of materials and teach the right strategies. You could also choose online SAT classes if time and travel are a constraint.

  1. What if you choose to self-prepare?

If you choose self-prep, start looking for the best SAT books. The materials that you choose for preparation should mimic the actual SAT questions. Again, the books should take the role of a tutor to guide you with the strategies. Use the Khan Academy as a part of your preparation. Don’t waste your time on the free substandard materials that are available online.

  1. Pepper your prep with regular tests:

Your preparation should include regular tests to monitor your progress. Choose a SAT Test series that is close to the actual SAT. Remember to include the College Board Tests as a part of your preparation. Review your tests and learn where you are going wrong. Try to avoid those mistakes the next time.

Time is a major constraint for beginners. Have a proper study plan and avoid distractions. Also, be mentally prepared to take the test again in case you do not meet the targets.

The second category includes people who might have taken the PSAT or the Actual SAT. There might be others who have taken the right step towards gearing up for the SAT. You veterans are aware of the sat exam pattern. Whether you are planning to improve the scores or trying to reach the coveted 1600, these steps will take you to the next level.

  1. To improve your scaled score, identify how many more questions you should get correct in each section. If you are looking for 1600, make sure you get all the questions correct in all the sections. Missing out on one question might result in a 10 or 20 points decrease.
  2. There is no replacement for hard work. Try to understand how the test works as SAT has quite a few tricks under its hat. Take a good number of tests. There are not many questions that the College Board can ask you and the pattern will start to unravel in front of you.
  3. If you are planning to buy newer books, make sure you have exhausted the existing materials. Then to make sure that you are selecting the best ones. It is the quality that comes first and then the quantity of practice.
  4. The mistakes that you make are your second level teachers. Learn where you are making mistakes: in the concepts, in the application, lack of concentration, or lack of time. Learn to improve in those areas rather than constantly working on your strengths.
  5. Have a foolproof study plan. Break down your preparation into bite-sized pieces and know what you are going to learn on that particular day and at what time. Avoid distractions. Last minute cramming is not going to help.

 

A few section-wise tips for improving the scores:

Tips

  1. Reading – This section is unlike any English Class Reading. No prior knowledge about the topic is necessary. Personal opinions are not entertained. The test is all about how well you answer the questions using evidence from the text. Predicting the correct answer and eliminating the wrong answer will improve accuracy in this section.
  2. Writing and Language – Mastering the grammar and punctuation rules will help you with accuracy and speed in this section. Develop strategies to address the style questions.
  3. Math- Don’t get overconfident in this section. Work steadily and try to maximize your score on this section. Learn all the concepts including the rarely tested ones like geometry, imaginary numbers, and trigonometry.
  4. Essay – Check with the universities if they still need the essay scores. Else you need not register for this on the test.

 

What should I do on the day of the Test?

See to that you have the following must-haves for the test – confirmation email, acceptable ID proof, Calculator, No. 2 pencils, and erasers. Don’t skip breakfast. Carry snacks or juices, but leave them outside the test hall. A watch without an audible alarm should work. But don’t keep looking at it often and panic.

Remember there is no point in panicking on the test day. Leave the pressure at the doorstep and enjoy the test taking experience for which you have been preparing for months.

 

Find your dream university

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