Getting into a good university can result in more opportunities later on in life, but to get into one, you’ll need to take college entrance exams like the SATs.
The SAT is an exam that’s designed to test if you’re ready for college, providing various universities with a single point of reference to compare all college applicants. If you’re planning to attend some of the more prestigious universities, then you’ll need a high score on the SAT.
This is because with the thousands of students applying each year, there can be an extremely fierce competition among applicants. As such, you will need a way to stand out from the rest which includes, but is not limited to, getting a high score on the SAT.
So, how can you do so? Well, here are some of the top tips for getting a high score on the SAT:
First, let’s focus on the time before you take the exam – the preparation time.
1. Practice – practice a lot before taking the SAT.
The first tip is to practice and practice a lot. It’s the most common and best advice when it comes to preparing for the SAT and other exams. You can read all you want about the various test-taking strategies, but it’s all for naught if you don’t put everything into practice.
By practicing the test-taking strategies you’ve learned, you gain familiarity not just with the structure of the exam but also on what areas you need further improvement and those you’re already good at.
Moreover, by practicing, for example, through practice tests, you become more familiar with the exam itself, knowing how you will pace yourself when the actual exam time comes. It’s even better if you use official practice questions or questions from a reputable source.
These sources will be closer to the actual exam, especially since the SAT has a format that’s different from the usual standardized tests.
2. Monitor your time during practice tests.
When taking practice tests, you can ensure that you’ll have a more efficient time taking the actual exam by monitoring your pace during practice tests. This is because there are specific times allotted for each section of the exam, and you’ll need to ensure that you have enough time to answer all the questions.
This will also help you identify which questions you’re having the most difficulty with, allowing you to work on them and making you more effective at taking the SAT.
3. Work on your weaknesses.
As mentioned, practicing can help you become more familiar with both the exam and yourself as a test-taker. Therefore, once you know what subjects you can consider as your weak points and which ones are your strengths, you can then work on improving them.
You’ll maximize your time more if you focus on working on the subject areas you’re least confident with. To do this, you can analyze the results of your practice tests and see which questions you have the most difficulty with.
Once you identify why you found those particular questions difficult, then you can find out ways on how to better answer them in the next practice test.
Taking the Exam
Now, let’s get to test-taking strategies you can employ during the exam itself.
4. Make sure to read the instructions carefully and thoroughly.
You wouldn’t want to lose your precious exam time going back and forth the instructions. Therefore, when taking the SAT or any other exam, make sure to thoroughly read the instructions. By doing so, you won’t lose points because you failed to follow the directions.
5. Answer what you know first.
To make the most out of the time allotted for each section of the SAT, scan through the section, and answer the questions you know first before going back to the questions you skipped.
This will give you more time to think about the questions you’re unsure of without sacrificing the time needed for the other questions. In short, this strategy reduces the chances of getting stuck on one question and failing to answer the rest.
6. Remove the wrong answers first.
To avoid getting stuck on a question, you can eliminate the wrong answers first. After all, it’s sometimes easier to identify the wrong answers first than identifying the correct answer, especially if you’re unsure.
7. Make sure to answer every question.
Since there’s no longer a penalty for incorrect answers on the SAT, it’s best if you answer every question you encounter, even when you’re unsure of the answer. This is because there’s a 25% chance your guess might be correct – and every point counts!
8. Ensure to leave some time to review your answers.
Although your first answer is often the correct one, it’s best if you leave enough time for you to go over your answers. That way, you can assess them, especially your answers to the questions you were unsure of.
That’s why it’s also recommended to mark the questions you were unsure of so you can go back to them later. Always double-check how you got to that answer. If you’re confident enough, then you can move on. If not, then just stick with your first guess and move on.
9. Underline key words or concepts in the questions.
When taking the SAT or any other type of exam, underlining the key concepts of the question can help you focus on what the question is actually asking and prevent making careless mistakes.
Getting a high score on the SAT can help give you an edge when it comes to competing for slots in some of the most prestigious universities in the country. The SAT is the first step towards opening doors for your future, so make sure you’re adequately prepared when taking the exam.
The exam isn’t easy, but undergoing enough preparation and having diligence and a solid plan can help you get a high score on the exam.