When it comes to the SAT, can you separate fact from fiction? We debunk some of the most popular myths and misconceptions surrounding the SAT test.
MYTH #1: The SAT is a test of intelligence and my scores are a good indication of how I will do in college.
The TRUTH: Your SAT scores reflect how good you are at taking the SAT (as well as how much time you spent preparing)–and that’s about it. Nevertheless, admissions officers continue to place great weight on this test. So it’s important to do well. When you pick your SAT test date, leave plenty of time for prep.
MYTH #2: The SAT tests complex math concepts.
The TRUTH: Here are a few things you won’t need to know to answer SAT math questions: calculus, logarithms, matrices, and geometric proofs. Essentially, the SAT tests a whole lot of algebra, some arithmetic, statistics, and a bit of geometry. When we say a “bit,” we mean it. There are only 6 geometry questions at most on the test.
MYTH #3: You can’t really improve your SAT Reading score.
The TRUTH: You CAN improve your Reading score by expanding your vocabulary, including the multiple meanings of words, and by honing your critical reading skills. Critical reading on the SAT relies upon your understanding of the words in the questions but also your ability to read between the lines. So read books, newspapers and anything else you can get your hands on, and check out our SAT test prep options for additional skill-building tools.
MYTH #4: It’s better to leave a question blank than to guess.
The TRUTH: No way! There is no penalty for wrong answers on the SAT, so you shouldn’t worry about guessing incorrectly. You receive 1 point for every correct answer; 0 points for every question you leave unanswered; and 0 points for every incorrect answer. If you can eliminate even one of the answer choices, you’ve just upped your shot at getting the answer right and gaining more points.