It takes a lot of work to prepare for the SAT, and you might not know where to begin. Learning about the test's layout and the various ways you might modify your approach to advance on each section can help you get in gear.
General SAT Study Advice
Tip 1: Remove the first three incorrect responses.
The most crucial thing to keep in mind when taking the SAT is that there is only one right response to every question, and you should be able to rule out all other possibilities. This means that using the process of elimination will be your primary test-taking method. When you're having trouble coming up with an answer to a question, look for arguments against the majority of potential solutions rather than favoring them.
Be very selective when deciding which responses to reject. The portions on reading and writing are particularly affected by this. Keep reminding yourself that a question's appearance is an illusion. It is your responsibility to identify the justifications for each erroneous decision until you are left with only one option.
Tip 2: Recognize your errors at all times.
If you want to notice significant gains, this is essential. You are almost certain to receive a high score on the test if you take the time to comprehend each error you make on practice problems, why you made it, and what you will do to avoid it in the future.
Typically, errors fall into one of four groups:
#1: Insufficient content
#2: Time constraints
#3: Problems understanding questions
#4: Negligent blunder
After finishing a practice test, make a list of all the questions you got wrong so you can practice spotting mistakes. Did you consistently make a mistake (have a content weakness) when answering a certain kind of arithmetic question? Did you consistently exclude the words "unless" or "least" from your questions (careless error)? Did you frequently make mistakes due to time constraints on questions at the end of sections?
Whatever your problems are, you must fully comprehend them to solve them and notice improvements in your scores.
Advice for the SAT
Tip 3: Consider the Connotation and Context of Words
For answering challenging questions in the reading part, remember this advice. Look for terms in the section of the passage that the question refers to that have a good or negative connotation. Even if you have no idea which of the remaining options is the right one, this can help you eliminate at least a few options.
The context is equally crucial! Consider the sentences surrounding the line that is specifically mentioned in the question in addition to it. Look for terms in contrast like "although," "rather than," or "yet," etc. Strong adjectives that could aid in determining meaning should also be taken into consideration.
Tip 4: Make Use of Find the Evidence Questions
The redesigned SAT contains questions that require you to select an excerpt from the passage that best supports your response to the prior question. You can find errors and resolve ambiguities with the aid of these new questions.
Consider a scenario in which you have chosen two potential responses to a reading question. You can look through all of the possibilities provided by the find-the-evidence question and determine which one most closely relates to one of your two possible answers to the previous question if the next question requires you to choose the best supporting evidence for your position. Which of the two options is correct will be obvious in virtually every situation since only that option will have a comparable nugget of direct evidence hidden away in one of the answer options for the find the evidence question.
Tip 5: Select Your Readings Wisely
Before the SAT, try to settle on a solid passage reading technique. You'll end up saving time and tension by doing this. Several strategies might be employed, based on your level of exam comfort and reading comprehension proficiency.
Approach 1: Read the passage quickly
I would lean toward recommending this approach. Without spending too much time reading the passage carefully, you can gain a feel of its essential points. Simply reading the introduction, conclusion, and the first and last phrases of each body paragraph will allow you to skim successfully.
While the primary idea of the passage is still fresh in your mind, respond to the key idea questions first. The material can then be read more carefully in specific places as needed to respond to inquiries regarding minute details.
Approach 2: Jump Right to the Questions
Skipping the passage entirely can be a good first step because the SAT provides line numbers for questions on the Reading portion. If you choose to do this, you should initially respond to questions regarding specific text features such that you end up reading a portion of the passage while responding to questions. You'll then be well aware of the passage's overall message when you move on to the key idea questions later.
Approach 3: Completely read the passage
If you read quickly and thoroughly, you might be able to do this without any issues. Just be sure it isn't making you move more slowly. This method may be less effective than in the past because there is more information to read on the new SAT.
Instead of reading this approach, you should use one of the other methods if you can do it more quickly (without losing any points). It's always preferable to have more time in the end to review your responses!
Tip 6: Pay attention to passage introductions
Every passage on the SAT has a brief italicized introduction that provides some background information about the passage and its author. If you skip this introductory paragraph, you might lose out on some important information.
At the absolute least, passage introductions provide background information for what you're about to read so you don't get too lost in the characters or the setting. Even though you usually read the questions first when reading SAT passages, you should still make it a point to read the italicized introduction first.
Tip 7: Get Interested in the Passages
Forcing yourself to interact with the material is the best approach to remembering information while reading sections on the SAT. It will be much simpler for you to remember what happened in the area if you approach this as an educational opportunity rather than a task. You'll enjoy the test more and perform better on the test as a whole if your brain is in a "wow, interesting" mentality as opposed to "blah, blah, just have to get to the questions" mode.
Tip 8: Seek Out Direct Proof
The reality is that you should always be able to identify direct evidence in the passage or chart you are referring to support your answers, even though SAT reading questions might occasionally look subjective.
Even inference questions, which require you to look beyond the passage's precise facts, will be supported by logical inferences that may be drawn from the available data. You may find that the evidence you require for inference questions, particularly, lies beyond the context of the question's cited sentence. However, there is always some proof there!
Hold off on selecting an answer if it appears like it might be right but you can't discover any supporting evidence. Any response that cannot be supported by specific details from the passage must be untrue.
Tip 9: Pay attention to filling in content gaps first
No matter how many SAT practice questions you complete, if you struggle with fundamental arithmetic concepts, you will need to fill in those knowledge gaps before you can raise your SAT Maths score.
Work on your content weaknesses first if you discover you are skipping practice SAT Maths problems because you are uneasy with a certain subject matter. This is the quickest approach to noticeably raise your results. From here, you can proceed to correct other flaws that are more obvious.
Tip 10: Resolve any questions you missed before reading the explanations of the responses.
The most extraordinary technique to ensure that you genuinely grasp how to solve Maths section questions that you previously misunderstood is to do this. Its one thing to read the explanation for the answer and think, "Oh, of course, that's how you solve it," but quite another to solve the puzzle.
If you go through the process rather than just reading about it, the procedure will stay in your mind much more effectively. Before reading the explanation, consider the ideal response option and make an effort to arrive there on your own.
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