With the SAT close on the heels, let us look at a few tips for last-minute study, test-taking strategies to improve your performance, and advice on what to do on the test day. The SAT Preparation might have started a few months ago but some of you might still feel jittery about taking the test. You should be both mentally and physically prepared to take the test. Follow these tips to ensure you reach your goal.
The SAT syllabus would have been covered during the SAT preparation classes. After taking tests from the SAT Test Series, analyze where you are making mistakes and find out if it is a conceptual mistake or a careless mistake. Figure out how to find the correct answer and why did you fall for the wrong one. This should certainly help you in boosting the scores as well as your confidence level.
Imagine the nightmare of hearing the words time’s up when you have just completed the section but have not shaded the answers. Use a SAT sample paper to experiment on the time you are spending on each section. This will help you understand what a minute will be like on the test… Plan to spend a minute on every question in the reading section and around 30 to 40 seconds on the writing section. On the math, you can spare slightly more than a minute in both sections. If your timing is on the higher side, learn to reduce it without affecting your accuracy. Don’t linger over a question for too long than required. Guess and move on. Learn the SAT test pattern so that you do not have to spend time reading the instructions in the question paper.
Don’t try to learn any new math concepts or any new methods to tackle the questions. This can affect your regular performance.
You may need nearly seven or eight hours of sleep to keep yourself fresh during the test. Plan to sleep a bit early so that you are up on time to leave for the test. Avoid screen time on television or mobile phone, as the brightness may stop you from sleeping for a long time.
Have copious amounts of water and a dinner filled with complex carbohydrates and proteins.
Keep the following things ready for the next day:
Decide on how you will travel to the test site, who will accompany you, and how much time it will take you to be there. Wake up accordingly the next day.
Have breakfast that is light but will still keep your momentum going. The choices include toast, milk, eggs, and cereals. Don’t overload. Instead, carry some snacks with you to eat during the break.
Reach the center early so that you don’t have to search for parking. Even if you have difficulty in searching for the center, you can still make sure that you will reach on time. Avoid nervous people even if they are your friends or classmates. Let their negative energy not rub on you.
Don’t let anxiety affect your performance. This is easier said than done. Concentrate on your breathing for a few seconds if you are stressed. This will help you concentrate on the questions. Remember that anxious thoughts would mean you would lose focus on what you are doing. This may lead to a sloppy performance which again is going to make you more anxious.
Don’t spend too much time on any question. If you think you are overshooting the time limit we saw earlier, leave that question for now. Mark the question and come back to it at the end. This could mean that you will not have time for the easier questions in the future.
Remember the College Board is not going to penalize you for wrong answers. If you are not able to complete the questions, use the last two minutes to guess and complete the section.
If you plan to complete the section and then bubble the answers, you might be at the receiving end. Instead, bubble the answer choices after say every 5 questions. This will ensure that you don’t skip or bubble the wrong answers. Even if you have completed the section, remain in the same section. Don’t move to the next one unless it is mentioned by the proctor.
Relax yourself during the breaks. Have a snack or use the restroom if need be. Freshen up yourself before you move on to the next section.
In your SAT online coaching or offline classes, they would have taught you how to use the question paper as your scratch paper. Use your pencil to underline evidence, solve a problem, or eliminate a wrong answer. Don’t solve the questions at the back of your mind.
If you come across a new word, use the context to understand its meaning. Read only the parts that are necessary to answer the questions. Remember the answers have to be supported by the text.
Study the grammar and punctuation rules and apply them wherever it is needed. Remember NO CHANGE is correct about 25% of the times it appears on the test. Use the process of elimination effectively to eliminate answers that have errors.
Take the help of the diagram if need be on the math section. Use the calculator wisely in the Calculator section of math. Remember to shade the answers for the grid-in questions. Apply the grid-in rules when necessary. If you are going crazy with a math problem, you may be on the wrong track. Leave the question for a few minutes and come back later to work on it with a fresh pair of eyes.
If the test went on well, reward yourself. Also, inform your trainers from either offline or online SAT prep about your performance. They will be eager to know about how you fared.
If the test didn’t go well due to some reasons, you are allowed to cancel the scores. This should be done before midnight of the first Wednesday after the test.
You will get the scores in three or four weeks. If you want to start fresh, opt for a SAT online coaching for a safe and effective way of learning.
SAT happens during the months of March, May, August, October, and December.
SAT can be taken any number of times. But, if the university demands all your test scores, multiple attempts at the SAT may make your profile weak. So we suggest that you take the SAT twice or may be thrice but not beyond that.
The preparation time depends on the score requirement and the student’s capacity. But a study plan that extends for two or three months that includes enough full length practice tests should do the job.
Visit the College Board website and create an account. Upload your photograph. Pay the test fee using a debit or credit card.
The fee for attempting the test in India is $101 for the SAT without the optional Essay and $117 with the Essay – both inclusive of an International Fee of $49.
The ID should be valid during the time of test, It should be an original, physical document. The photo should be recognizable and matches with the photograph on the admission and test day appearance. In India, passport or Aadhar cards are allowed.
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