Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Top 5 Ways to Improve on Your Next SAT

Did you take the October SAT, but you feel like you didn't do your best? Most students take the test two or three times, so learn how to reflect on your scores and make the most of your next round! Here are the top 5 ways to improve on your next SAT:

1. Change your attitude.
One of the biggest hindrances to scoring high on the SAT is the attitude with which many students approach the test. Often, after receiving a score they hadn't quite expected, they become irrevocably discouraged, and begin to negatively self-talk. “I'm not good at Algebra, and I hate math.” SAT questions are completely unlike most of the questions you can find on a normal school test, and is designed to be that way. Since the SAT measures lateral thinking, rather than progressive thinking, it can often stump even the most diligent of students in the beginning!

2. Analyze your results.
Once you have mentally re-focused yourself and you're ready to be objective about your scores, log into www.CollegeBoard.com and look over the detailed scoring guide. You'll get information about what types of questions you're missing. Look for trends in your performance. Did you get a high percentage of questions correct at the beginning of each section and then start missing some towards the middle and end? You may need to build stamina and start taking timed practice sections. Figure out what areas you need to target in order to increase your next score.

3. Create a focused study plan.
Plenty of SAT preparation material is available in stores and online. make sure you choose material that right for you. If you need to practice with timed tests, then the Kaplan or Barron's books, which contain only practice material and no focused sections, might be for you. If you know there are certain content areas that need polishing, then McGraw-Hill or IvyPrep might be for you. There are different types of resources out there that can give you the practice you need.

4. Maintain the finesse.
If you're not seeing a general trend in your weak areas that allows you to created a precise list of topics to study, then perhaps you're missing questions because you aren't applying your test-taking skills thoroughly. Active reading, annotation, process of elimination, and other skills must be systematically applied to each and every question on the test. It's easy to use your test-taking skills on the first 10 or 15 questions. However, as time goes on, you may start to stray a bit from your regimen. Make sure you're working out every single problem with the same attention to detail that you give to the very first question.

5. Understand how the test is scored.
Unlike the way most school tests are scored, wrong answers on the SAT do not lead to point deductions. This means that there is no benefit to leaving questions blank. However, there IS a benefit to skipping the hardest questions and coming back to them later. Even though there are no deductions for wrong answers, you can only accumulate points with RIGHT answers, so if you find you are taking too long to answer a question, SKIP IT! Come back to it later, or guess if you have minimal time remaining. Also, colleges look at your super score. So, only your highest-rated sections, no matter what test date they're from, will be shown to the schools.

There's plenty of time to make a change before the next test. Follow these steps to maximize your study time.
Keep your chins up and keep studying for that November test date! Good luck!

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