Maybe you took the test in early October only to feel completely unprepared when words like “punctilious” and “quotidian” were thrown your way, so you’ve signed up for the November test. Or maybe you’re waiting until October 24 to see your October test scores before deciding whether to take the December exam. Either way, your situation is certainly not optimal—after all, we recommend studying for the SAT for at least two or three months—but all hope is not lost; you still have some time to work on raising your score. Given that your new test date is quickly approaching, though, you have no time to waste! Luckily, we’re here to help you make the most of the weeks before your test.
Study Suggestions for the November SAT
1. Consider a weekend course.
Some courses occur in a single weekend, which is a great option for a time-strapped student. If you learn better in a structured environment or if you have yet to crack the SAT prep books, a weekend course might be just what you need.
2. Learn some vocabulary words.
Tackle 10 vocabulary words each day from the Repeat Offender flash cards. Study the words in the order suggested, concentrating only on the words you do not know, and discarding the ones you do know.
3. Brush up on your math formulas.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve used the Pythagorean Theorem or the rules of exponents, review important math formulas and relationships in our free SAT Math Bible Flash Cards.
4. Know the Writing section error indicators.
You probably haven’t been taught any grammar since middle school, so it’s important to learn the alarm bell errors of the SAT Writing section. You can find them in our SAT Writing Bible Flash Cards.
- 5. Practice under timed conditions.
Take one or two timed sections each day from the Official SAT Study Guide. If you don’t have the Official SAT Study Guide, you can find 3 real practice tests in our Free Help Area. After each section, score it and review all of the questions that you missed or guessed correctly. It is extremely important to understand why you got a question wrong.
Study Suggestions for the December SAT
1. Understand “All of the above.”
No, “All of the above” is not an answer choice on the SAT. Instead, it’s what we want December test takers to do: complete all of the above activities recommended for the November test takers. If it’s good for the extreme procrastinators, it’s even better for you moderate stragglers.
2. Take complete timed practice tests.
While it’s great to take one or two timed sections each day, it’s even better to complete an entire practice test in one sitting. This helps build stamina and exposes you to 170 possible SAT patterns and examples. You can use our Virtual Proctor to time yourself (select the “Proctor” tab). After the test, score it and review all of the questions that you missed or guessed correctly.
3. Read quality test prep materials.
If you find that you’re not able to unlock the secrets of the test on your own and a weekend course is not an option, find some books that effectively break down the test for you. You can start with some free chapters of our SAT Bible Trilogy.
So no more excuses! Whether you are taking the November SAT or the December SAT, you have plenty (well, a little bit, anyway) of time to study and plenty of materials to review. You shouldn’t even be reading this conclusion—you should be printing out the hundreds of pages of flash cards and practice tests. Get! Go! Study now! And email me if you have any questions.
Photo: "Studying" courtesy of scui3asteveo