10 Tips For The SAT

Are you applying to university in America? 10 tips concerning the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)


The SAT is a standardised test that claims to assess a pupil’s readiness to entire university studies. The three main sections of the test are, critical reading, mathematics, and writing. There are ten subsections of the test, however, only nine sections will be marked. The unmarked section is an experimental section for the test makers. The SAT takes about four and half hours to complete. Now that you have a bit of background information, here are ten useful tips concerning the SAT.


  1. Decide if the SAT is the right test for you to take. The ACT (American College Test) is an alternative test that is accepted at all accredited four-year universities that ask for the SAT. The ACT structures questions differently and favours different academic skill sets. For example, the ACT has a more advanced mathematics section than the SAT. Taking sample versions online of both tests is the best way to determine which test is right for you.

  3. The SAT analyses your vocabulary. One of the most effective ways to prepare for these questions is to read a lot of books over half term and summer holidays.

  5. Another way to enhance your vocabulary is to use previous tests. Go through the past eight tests and generate your own list of words. Often test makers reuse vocabulary from recent tests.

  7. In preparing for the essay, create a collection of connecting phrases and mature sounding vocabulary. You want to demonstrate that you can use language skilfully.

  9. If you have no idea how to complete a question, leave it blank. The SAT deducts points for incorrect answers. Leaving an answer blank means that you do not loose any points. However, if you can narrow down the possible answers then it is most likely in your favor to guess.

  11. If you are taking too much time to complete a question, put a mark in the margin and move on. You need to use every possible second. If you have time remaining at the end of the section, go back over the questions you skipped.

  13. The multiple-choice questions in the writing section deal primarily with basic grammar. It would be in your best interest to spend sometime reviewing grammar rules.

  15. While completing the essay section, be most concerned with presenting a well-constructed argument. This section can be very intimidating to pupils because there is only 25 minutes allotted for completion. Grammar and spelling play a small part in the marking rubric, however, it would be an unwise use of time to fret over minor grammar or spelling errors.

  17. At first glance, the mathematics section could seem very easy. However, the SAT mathematics questions require students to read carefully. For example, a question could be, ‘What is X+1?’ instead of ‘What is X?’ In the multiple choice selections there will be wrong answers that anticipate common mistakes.

  19. In the weeks leading up to the test, get ample amounts of rest. Many students enter the test exhausted from late nights studying. When a person is tired memory retention is compromised and stress levels increase.

Click here to see SAT tutors in London.

Additional resources:

SAT Subject Tests: Improve your Level 2 Maths in 5 minutes
The SAT: Five Steps To A Great Score
The Steps to Exam Success

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