Securing a place at your dream college is a scary and stressful process, especially if you’re applying to a sought-after educational institution, such as an Ivy League college. The competition has never been higher, and standing out above the crowd can be challenging.
One of the key components that college admissions boards look at when reading through the thousands of applications they receive each academic year is Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores.
In fact, many colleges set thresholds that applicants must reach for their applications to be considered at all. Students who fail to achieve the chosen thresholds may be dismissed before an admissions tutor reads through their personal essays.
To ensure you create the perfect SAT strategy and succeed in your SAT exams, we’ve provided some top tips below.
Understand the Basics of the SAT
Understanding the basics of the SAT is crucial to passing it with flying colors. The SAT comprises four main sections, including reading, writing, language, and math. There is also an optional essay that many students choose to undertake to enhance their college applications.
Each section is challenging in its own right and tests unique skills. You will achieve a graded score in each section, and together, the four scores will contribute to your overall mark.
Focus On Your Weaknesses
As tough as it is to admit your weaknesses, doing so enables you to identify areas for improvement. Strengthening your weaker areas makes you a well-rounded candidate and ensures you achieve a great score in all areas of the SAT.
Spend extra time on the areas of the SAT that you’re not the best in by practicing test papers or finding helpful resources online. You might need to brush up on your comprehension skills or learn complex math formulae. Whatever your target SAT area may be, regular practice will improve your knowledge and skills, leading to a higher overall score.
Create a Thorough Study Plan
In the months leading up to your SAT examination, it’s best to practice daily and avoid last-minute cramming before the big day. Create a thorough study schedule that details which area of the SAT you’re going to practice each day.
Try to split your time evenly between each of the four SAT sections unless you feel there is a particular section that you’re struggling with and want to spend more time practicing.
Practice in Exam Conditions
Revising in the comfort of your own home with a hot cup of coffee and some sweet snacks within your reach isn’t quite the same as sitting the SAT in a formal exam hall.
To avoid the shock of moving from comfort to formality when you sit your examinations, aim to practice in real exam conditions. Sit in a quiet room without your phone, food, or drinks within reach (except a glass of water in case you get dehydrated).
Avoid distractions wherever possible. If you’re a busy mom studying at home, consider taking the kids to your parent’s house or ask your partner to take over the care duties so you can focus. Set yourself a timer to see if you can complete a practice SAT examination within the allocated time.
With real-life exam practice, you can prepare yourself for everything that is to come and prevent overwhelm when you finally walk into the examination hall.