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SAT, the abbreviated form of Scholastic Aptitude Test, is an intimidating part of the college admissions process that most people dread. Though the SAT can be extremely stressful, it isn’t actually a difficult test. You just have to be studious enough to plan out your course of attack.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind to make the SAT simpler to deal with.
1. What Is The SAT?
SAT is one of the two standardized admissions tests that are considered mandatory by almost all colleges and universities in the US. Conducted by the College Board (the same body that conducts the PSAT and the AP program), SAT typically measures the high school student’s readiness for college and helps the colleges compare all the students on equal footing.
The SAT was directed as a college admission test in 1926 after adapting it from the Army IQ Test. However, the test wasn’t popular until it was used by the president of Harvard to assess scholarship applicants.
The majority of the high scholars take the SAT in the spring of their junior year but have to find out the test dates for the SAT and register around five weeks before the test date. The SAT exam is conducted every year in August, October, November, December, March, May, and June.
2. What’s On The SAT?
A typical SAT includes two sections—Math and Evidence-based Reading and Writing. The total of 143 questions is divided into 58 math questions, 52 reading questions, and 33 writing and language questions.
Additionally, there is also an optional Essay section. The overall SAT scores are separately reported from the SAT essay scores. The overall SAT is scored on the 1600 point scale, and there is a separate score for the essay.
Some colleges do make it mandatory for students to take the SAT Essay. Thus, before heading over to take the SAT, go through each college’s admissions policies (you will find them on the school’s website) to confirm whether they require the SAT essay or not.
The overall SAT lasts for three hours. But, if you choose to take the SAT Essay, you will be given an additional 50 minutes.
3. How To Study For The SAT
If you have decided to take the SAT, you also need to decide on a proper plan that will help you crack the SAT.
The best and the most honest way to prepare for the SAT would be to take an online, in-person, or private SAT class. However, there are some more great ways to ace your preparations.
- As there are 52 reading questions included under the SAT, you need to read a lot to prepare yourself for the reading section.
- You won’t be able to carry a calculator to the test, so learn how to do mental math accurately.
- Prepare for the writing section by studying basic grammar and style.
- Study always, and whenever you have downtime, study some more. Use flashcards, SAT study apps, or practice tests to stay productive.
4. Learn How To Game The SAT
Here are a few tips that will help you get an edge on the SAT competition:
- Eliminate the wrong answers to get better odds on a guess.
- Always guess as guessing will no longer penalize you.
- If you feel a question is too subjective or as if it has multiple right answers, understand that you aren’t getting it.
- Come up with a reading strategy for passages. For instance, read the first and last paragraphs and the first sentence of each paragraph in between.
- Underline the critical parts of a question like those in the math sections that tell you what you need to solve for.
5. Have A Test Day Plan
When the test day arrives, you don’t want to waste all your hard study work and mess up forgetting to get your admission ticket or being late to reach the exam center. Thus, have a test day plan already scheduled in mind.
The night before the exam, get all the required items in place—admission ticket, photo ID, supplies, etc. As the test is going to last over three hours, you can bring snacks and water. Also, find out where your test center is and get there 30 minutes early.
You have prepared well for the SAT, and you are ready. Try your best not to stress about the test. Consider it a part of your college application and understand that it doesn’t assess your intelligence or worth as a person. Appear for the test with confidence and be well-prepared. You’ve got this!