5 Tips to Prepare for the SAT

5 Steps to SAT Readiness

• Register for the SAT

• Learn the Test Structure and Format

• Determine Your Strengths and Weaknesses

• Set a Study Schedule

• Be Ready for Test Day

Preparing for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) can play an important part in how well a student does on the test. The very letters SAT often put fear in potential testers because they know the importance of doing well on this important college entrance exam. The purpose of the SAT is not just to determine a student’s readiness for college but also as a way the school can compare a student’s aptitude compared to all the other applicants. Although the SAT day may make many applicants nervous, there are ways they can prepare for the exam. Here are 5 tips to prepare for the SAT.

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1. Register for the SAT

Although registering for the SAT should be a given, knowing when and how to register for the SAT is equally important. There are many testing sites throughout the United States, and students can pretty much choose when and where they want to take the SAT. Some high school students take it in the spring of their junior year or the fall of their senior year. The SAT is offered seven times a year. It’s important to not wait until the last minute to schedule the test. If a student doesn’t do well on the SAT, he or she may want to retake the test, so it’s important to make sure there is sufficient time. When registering for the SAT, the student should keep travel time in mind and pick a convenient location.

2. Learn the Test Structure and Format

The SAT consists of a Math section and an Evidence-based Reading and Writing section. They have calculator and non-calculator options for the Math as well as essay options. Students are advised to study the format so they know what to expect when they are taking the actual test. U.S. News & World Report states that if a student is not sure of an answer, the student should just leave it blank and move on unless they can eliminate some of the answers.

3. Determine Strengths and Weaknesses

Regardless of how smart a student is, every student has strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important to acknowledge them. They should work on weak areas to try to improve them while still keeping up with strong areas. There are many sites that offer practice SAT tests. Students should take a few practice tests. If nothing else, it will serve to show them which areas need more work and study. By going through the test results with a fine tooth comb, the student cannot just see any weak areas but can also see if there are certain patterns. For instance, did the student repeatedly get grid questions wrong or a certain type of math problem wrong?

4. Set a Study Schedule

When preparing for the SAT, few things are as important as important as getting in studying time. Students should set aside a certain number of days in the week and hours in the day that are designated for SAT study. It’s also important that they not deviate from the study schedule because skipping study sessions can become not just problematic but also a habit. It is important to not overdo it to the point where fatigue and disinterest set in. Having sufficient study time is another reason why students should schedule the SAT far in advance.

5. Be Ready for Test Day

Once the big test day has finally arrived, it’s important that the student be as ready as possible. This begins with getting a good night’s sleep the night before the SAT. Trying to take a test when tired can greatly affect how well the student does. If it’s a long drive to the testing site, the student should allow enough time to drive comfortably and make stops if necessary. A student also doesn’t want to get out of the car and rush right to the test area. They should allow enough time and make sure to eat a good breakfast!

The College Board indicates that knowing the testing dates and determining which testing date best works for the student can play a big part in the student’s success. Additionally, preparing for the SAT can make the difference of a good score or a great score, which can also determine the quality of school a student is able to attend.