If your SAT is swiftly approaching, you’re likely feeling the time crunch. If you’re in this boat, here are some of our top last-minute study tips.
#1 – Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
Unfortunately, if you’re reading this, you’re probably already a little late. We’ll do our best to help you prepare for your test in the coming weeks, but we strongly urge you consider taking the test in the future. Next time plan for some serious study. In fact, if you have extra time in your application process, consider postponing this current test until you feel confident that you’re ready to take it!
#2 – Read the Test Directions… Now!
Never spend time reading the test directions at the testing center. They’re long, tedious, and will eat away at the time you have to solve questions. Read the directions now! You can download a free practice test at the College Board’s website to review the directions and general format. Instead of wasting your time on test day, take the time to know what you’re getting into ahead of time.
#3 – Gather Some Essay Ammunition
Soldiers do not go into battle with empty guns, so don’t go into the SAT with an empty essay. Instead, choose two topics that you have researched in the past, such as a classic novel or a historical event. Reread your old materials and think about how each topic applies to multiple essay topics. For example, you can apply the Revolutionary War to almost any theme: perseverance, independence, success, failure, motivation, honesty, etc. The more you know about a topic, the more you can write. This translate to a higher score.
#4 – Understand Math Formulas
While the SAT provides you with all of the geometric formulas you need, you need to know what each formula does. The top test takers memorize those formulas and any other formulas and relationships the test requires. These formulas are on our website: Math Flash Cards. These introduce you to most of the content the SAT assesses.
#5 – Know Common Grammatical Error Indicators
The SAT multiple choice Writing sections test about 20 grammatical errors. If you know what to watch for, you can spot these errors quickly. We list them for you in our Writing Flash Cards.
#6 – Brush Up on Basic Vocab
If you’re studying last minute, you don’t have the time to study a 3500-word vocabulary list. Instead, focus on the ones that appear on the test most often. Our Top 200 Repeat Offenders list is the best resource. Throw out the words you know and concentrate on learning the ones you do not. You will see many of the words in this list on your test.
#7 – Read a Classic Novel
Students who read classic novels the week before their SAT report being more ready for SAT vocab and reading comp passages. So, when you’re looking for a break in studying, pick up a classic. This is not just a tip for last-minute studying, either. Those of you preparing in advance can also benefit from reading the classics. Reading these novels don’t have to be torturous! PowerScore instructors recommend some of their favorites for easy reading and interesting plots on our Free Help Area. Bonus, you don’t have to spend a dime, either. Most classic novels are available in eBook format from Project Gutenburg.
#8 – Know When to Guess
You earn one point for every right answer on the SAT, but you lose a quarter of a point for every wrong answer. This is huge! It’s important to know when to omit a question and when to make an educated guess. On multiple-choice questions, you should guess every single time you eliminate at least one answer choice. Statistical analysis shows you will earn more points than you will lose but only if you follow this rule on every question. You cannot guess sometimes, but not others. Guess every time you eliminate at least one answer. You should also guess on every Student-Produced-Response question. These are often referred to as “Grid-Ins.” What’s a “Grid-In,” you ask? Go back to Tip #2 and find out.
We can go on and on, but you don’t have the time to continue reading. Drop what you’re doing and get studying!