The SAT can be very confusing at first sight, but the right thing to do is not to panic, get working and crack the code of this apparently impossible test. I was extremely flustered after my first few digs at several diagnostic tests for the SAT, but with the right kind of help, I overcame my biggest misgivings about the SAT and finally started seeing this test as just.. a test.
But before moving on to the Goliath of our David, it is really important that we start small. Hence, the little things:
1. Most students end up resorting solely to either their knowledge of the diverse elements that the ETS tests you on during those dreadful near four hours, or their mastery of the techniques that can help you cut those four hours short to a few moments wherein you’re nearly applying strategies to solve puzzles. This lopsided approach, however, is only so effective. What you need to do is find a balance between these two distinctive methodologies.
2. Remember, the SAT does not only test you on your strong foundation in reading, writing and math, but also in your ability to manipulate tricky structures and wording. Rely on your intrinsic understanding only as far as you’re fully confident in it, beyond which point you must let the strategies guide you home.
3. Heavy guessing is NOT your friend. On the SAT, you lose a quarter point for every shot in the dark you take.
Although this penalty does not apply to the student-produced responses to the grid-in questions under one of the Math sections, it is definitely essential to avoid blind guessing on the SAT. In fact, It’s alarming how adversely your score can be affected by a few wild guesses, so to that, you must say a resounding no.
Guessing can only be considered a feasible choice only when you’re down to two or three options. So don’t forget to get your POE on.
4. Contrary to popular belief, a calculator is not necessarily your lifesaver from the impending doom that supposedly awaits everybody in the form of the SAT. Yes, it may be helpful in certain situations, but it is also not an uncommon pitfall that even the most brilliant students fall into. It is proven that incorrect use of calculators can thwart on your progress and weigh you down considerably. Therefore, to maximize your efficiency, you must only use it when you’re well-versed in all its functionalities, and also when you know solving a particular problem would not become faster when its done by hand.
5. Last-minute prep is something you must never practice when studying for the SAT, or for that matter, any other exam. As a rule, get into a routine that enables you to get optimal sleep, nutrition and prep time well before your actual exam. And for the final icing on your cake, never forget to self-analyze.
With these little tidbits, you can move one step forward on your path to SAT glory. So don’t give two thoughts to slacking, put your procrastinators to sleep and bring this one home, because no one else will.