Studying for the SAT is a large undertaking, and you may be unsure where to begin. Learning about the structure of the test and the different ways you can adapt your strategy to improve on each section is a good way to get yourself in gear. In this article, I'll give you a comprehensive list of the Top 10 SAT Prep Tips and Tricks
(organized by section) that you should be using to get your best SAT scores ever.
Tip 1: Highlight Important Parts of the Question
If you've been missing questions in the math section because you've been solving for the wrong value, try this tip. Highlight what you need to find in the question to avoid confusion during the calculation process.
Sometimes math questions will ask you to solve for a value that will require you to solve for something else along the way. That something else is frequently one of the incorrect answer options (though this sort of tricky incorrect answer choice is less likely to show up on the new SAT). Many students choose the trick answer choice by mistake because they lose track of the value they were supposed to find. To avoid this, highlight relevant parts of the question to maintain your focus.
Tip 2: Recall Formulas
Although the SAT math section provides a list of formulas, you will waste time and momentum by constantly referring to them. It's best to memorise all of the formulas ahead of time. To ensure you're prepared, read our article on the formulas you'll need to know for the SAT Math section.
Tip 3: Recall Grammar Rules
Because the SAT Writing section uses a standardised approach to grammar, it's beneficial to memorise the rules to avoid confusion. Even if you think you're pretty good at grammar, going by what "looks right" to you isn't always enough.
You should memorise some of the more archaic grammar rules tested on the SAT if you are unfamiliar with them. This will keep you from selecting NO CHANGE by accident for phrases that have errors according to the SAT's formal grammar guidelines. Check out this article for a comprehensive review of all the grammar rules you'll encounter on the SAT!
Tip 4: Be Wary Of No Change Answers.
If you find yourself answering NO CHANGE for a lot of questions in the Writing section, go back and double-check your answers. NO CHANGE will be the answer to only 25% or fewer of the questions where it is an option. If you choose more than that, you may be missing something important. Make sure to double-check it before committing.
On the other hand, you shouldn't be too concerned about selecting NO CHANGE. Don't get too caught up in second-guessing yourself because it will inevitably be the correct answer a few times.
Tip 5: Before answering rhetorical questions, skim the paragraph.
Unlike grammar questions, which require only a few sentences to answer correctly, rhetoric questions require you to examine entire paragraphs or the passage as a whole to find the correct answer. Rhetorical questions include those about sentence function, sentence logical sequences, and the author's style and tone.
The SAT asks Writing questions chronologically, so you'll probably be answering several grammar questions about specific sentences, followed by a couple of rhetorical questions about the paragraph as a whole.
Don't be fooled into thinking you can answer rhetoric questions simply by reading the specific sentence the question asks about and relying on vague memories of the content of the other sentences you just answered grammar questions on. Instead, read the paragraph as a whole before attempting the rhetorical question.
Tip 6: If both answers are grammatically correct, choose the more concise one.
Concision, or the use of as few words as necessary to convey meaning clearly, is one of the skills tested on SAT Writing. To correctly answer concision questions, you must know not only what the grammatically correct choice is, but also which is the best grammatically correct choice.
This can be difficult, especially if you are not a native English speaker, so we recommend following this advice: if both answers are grammatically correct, choose the one that is the most concise. Here's an actual SAT question with multiple grammatically correct answer options:
Tweed was depicted in one of the artist's most famous images with a bag of money in place of his head.
A) There Is No Change
B) Well-known and well-known
C) Well-known and well-known
D) Well-known, well-known
Answer options A), B), and C) are all grammatically correct substitutes for the word "famous" in the question sentence. So, which is correct? We can eliminate B) and C) by following the rule of selecting the most concise answer to arrive at the correct answer, A).
It's worth noting that the correct concise answer isn't always the shortest (as it was in this case); it's the shortest answer that keeps the original sentence's meaning. In this case, "famous and well-known" and "famous and widely known" are both wordier and redundant ways of saying "famous," so changing the sentence is unnecessary.
Tip 7: Analyze First, Then Act Write
The new SAT essay prompts ask you to analyses an argument presented in a passage. The graders want to see that you understand the author's point and can explain how he or she builds the argument. You have fifty minutes for the essay, and you should spend at least 10-15 minutes making sure you understand what the author is saying and how you'll structure your essay based on your analysis.
Tip 8: Make Use of Specific Evidence
Don't just describe the author's argument in your own words; back it up with specific examples. When you first read the passage, highlight sentences or phrases that demonstrate the author's persuasive techniques. In your essay, use direct quotes to emphasize the most important points.
Tip 9: Prepare the night before.
You will undoubtedly be nervous on the morning of the exam. You need to bring a lot of things to the SAT, and you don't want to forget something at the last minute because you're distracted by your nerves.
Here's a checklist to make sure it doesn't happen:
- Admission ticket, photo ID, 2 pencils and an eraser, Calculator
We also recommend bringing snacks and water, as well as a watch to keep track of your pace. Simply pack everything the night before. Don't put it off!
Tip 10: Avoid Difficult Questions.
This is an important tip if you struggle with time constraints on the SAT. If you're having difficulty answering a question, skip it and move on before wasting too much time. Lingering on difficult questions may cost you easy points if it means you miss out on questions later in the section.
- Spend no more than a minute trying to figure out each question in the Math and Reading sections.
- Spend no more than 30 seconds on the Writing section.
Circle any questions you skip so they're easier to find when you go back through the section. You may find that once you've answered the rest of the questions, you'll feel less pressured and be able to think more clearly about the questions that initially stumped you.
If you still can't figure it out, take a guess! Because there is no penalty for guessing on the new SAT, it is always preferable to guess rather than leave a question blank.
With these tips, you should be able to significantly improve your SAT performance. You should also read the SAT Digital Bluebook
for more in-depth study strategies to help you improve your content knowledge and feel more confident on the test!
For further information about SAT Digital Prep in Singapore
please contact us at [email protected]
or visit Masterclass Space