Passing the SAT is one of the requirements for admission into undergraduate college programs in the United States. Although the courses you take prior to taking the SAT will have some bearing on your ability to pass the test, it is often just as important to know how the SAT works. Doing so will help you determine the best way to prepare for the exam.
Familiarize Yourself with the SAT Content and Structure
The SAT consists of a few different sections, each of which tests specific knowledge and skill areas. It would be helpful to know the types of questions that will appear in each, as well as the format in which they will appear. Keep in mind that SAT questions are presented in a particular style, so it would be beneficial for you to gain familiarity with the format.
Identify Your Strong and Weak Areas
After you have gotten a feel for the test, you should be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses. You can then draw up a plan for improving your skills and knowledge in your weaker areas so that you can perform consistently throughout the test.
Don’t neglect to study for the other subjects as well, no matter how confident you may be about acing them. There is always room for improvement, and you might find it beneficial to spend some time brushing up on concepts that you may have forgotten.
Try Some Practice Tests
One of the best things about the SAT is that practice tests are readily available. There are no less than six tests available from the College Board, which should give you a good range of sample questions and test formats that you may encounter on your actual test. Practice tests are also available from test prep companies, and you should take advantage of them whenever possible.
When taking your practice tests, try to replicate the real testing environment as closely as possible. Find a quiet place where you can concentrate and maintain focus throughout the practice test. By working in test-like conditions, you will be much more relaxed and confident on the day of the exam, and less likely to be stressed or rattled.
Take Note of Your Score
Most practice tests come with scoring guidelines that help you determine how well you did. You can use these to determine which particular areas you need to improve on within each section of the test.
Devise a Consistent Study Schedule
Develop a study schedule for the weeks leading up to the test. Most SAT takers find it beneficial to devote the same amount of time every week for study and preparation. Doing so will enable you to keep moving forward and to mark your progress, as well as help you avoid having to cram a few days before the test.
Try to set your study days in advance and stick to the plan. Keeping to your schedule will help you get into the rhythm of studying until it becomes ingrained and habitual.