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SAT Preparation: Tips for Success


College admission tests like the SAT may be weighing heavily on your mind if you are thinking of attending college. The schools utilize your test scores to help make decisions regarding admissions. Having some knowledge ahead of time about how to prepare for the exam can help you achieve your best score. Here are some tips to help you do your best.

What Are the Best Ways to Prepare for SATs?

Working hard inside and outside of the classroom is the best way to ensure success on your SAT. Study your courses, take courses that will challenge you and maximize your writing and reading skills.

Tips for Positive Practice

Being prepared will lessen the chances for you to feel stressed or face unwelcome surprises. The following simple steps can help you feel confident and relaxed when it comes time to write this test.

You will feel much more at ease on test day if you are familiar with the SAT format and know what to expect. Speak with siblings, friends and family members who have already taken the test. Having this information before the test can help save you vital time when you are taking the exam.

Practice with preliminary tests to get familiar with the content. Review the PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10,or PSAT 8/9 offered from the College Board to brush up on your skills. These tests are designed to be taken ahead of your SAT. Enjoy the practice you will get from these introductory and preliminary tests as they have the same questions and format layout as the SAT. Another bonus: the PSAT/NMSQT can help you qualify for millions in scholarship funds. It can also identify your AP Potential and deliver a personalized practice plan for your SAT preparation.

It is important to time yourself when you are doing practice tests. Use the Official SAT Practice to simulate test-day conditions ahead of time. Remember, admission tests follow strict timing protocols which differ compared to high school tests. If you discover that you finished the test early and got simple questions wrong, try to slow down and read the questions thoroughly. If your time expired and you didn’t finish on time, check the study aids on the SAT website or try test-taking tips to help you streamline your process. Speak with a teacher or your school counselor to get more help.

A Few Last-Minute Tips

Take the following tips into consideration to help you arrive on time for your exam and to help you stay alert for its duration:

Know Where You Are Going Beforehand: Where is your test center located? Review the directions and print them out in advance. Prepare to arrive early by leaving a few minutes early to allow for extra time in case there is some kind of delay.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep: Set yourself up for success the day before your exam. Have your ID, No.2 pencils and erasers, your admission ticket and an acceptable calculator ready before you go to bed. Try to go to bed early to ensure a good night’s rest. Set your alarm before bed to allow you plenty of time to get ready and eat a healthy breakfast in the morning.

Be Confident and Positive: You have what it takes to do awesome on this test. Especially if you have been practicing and working hard in your classes.

Pack a Snack and Water: Being hungry or dehydrated can be distracting and make you feel sluggish or tired. Have a healthy snack with protein and fresh water to keep you feeling sharp. Granola bars, apples and cheese, or nuts can be great options.