The SAT is the highest of the tests that make up the SAT Suite of Assessments. The test, which started in 1926(ninety-six years ago), has become an internationally recognized standardized test that most colleges and universities require their intending students to take. In this post, we will break down the process of ways to improve your SAT score.
The College Board created the SAT as a way of testing the reading, writing and language, and math skills of 12th graders who are looking to secure admission into either a college or a university.
The SAT is of two types, the SAT and the SAT with Essay. There is only a slight difference between the two tests. While the SAT with Essay comes with an additional essay section and therefore costs more money, the SAT has no essay. Although some schools insist that all applicants must take the SAT with Essay, other schools do not mind. The SAT costs $52 and takes a total of 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete. This time frame includes breaks. The SAT with Essay costs $68 and takes a total of 4 hours and 7 minutes with breaks inclusive of completing. Keep in mind that the cost of the SAT is not static and is thus subject to annual change. The SAT comprises one 65-minute reading test, one 35-minute writing and language test, one 25-minute no-calculator math test, and one 55-minute math test that allows the use of a calculator. Candidates who are writing the SAT with Essay will take an additional 50 minutes to complete the essay.
The SAT is administered nationally seven times a year. It is administered in August, October, November, December, March, May, and June. There are also school day administrations in the fall and spring for participating schools.
SAT scores have become a major basic requirement of most United States colleges and even international universities and colleges. Applicants with higher SAT scores stand better chances of getting admitted than their counterparts with low SAT scores. For this reason, preparing for the SAT is serious business. In this article, we will be showing you workable ways of improving your SAT scores. Do stay with us.
Ways To Improve Your SAT Score
Below are some ways to improve your SAT score:
1. Decide on a score range
Your score must be above average on the SAT. This is because not only do high SAT scores increase your chances of getting admitted; it also increases your chances of being awarded merit-based scholarships. To this end, one of the things you should do as you prepare to write your SAT is to decide on the minimum score you wish to achieve. To guide you on this, research the required SAT score for each of the colleges and programs you wish to pursue and the required SAT score for the scholarships or any other form of financial aid you are looking to apply for. Armed with all this information, you will know the best SAT score for you. Remember that while it is good just to meet the requirements, it is way better you exceed the requirements. That will be you making a bold statement and distinguishing yourself from other applicants.
2. Build Up Your Vocabulary
Another effective way of ensuring you ace your SAT is by building up your vocabulary. The SAT has a 65-minute reading test and a 35-minute writing and language test as part of the test. To do well in these sections, there is a need for you to improve your reading skills and your ability to deduce the meaning of words from context. To do this, we advise that you:
- Develop a reading habit
- Use the dictionary and thesaurus to check the meaning of words you are not familiar with, as well as their antonyms and synonyms.
- Play word games
- Use mnemonics
- Practice using the new words you have learned in conversations
3. Put more effort into Mathematics.
If you are an above-average student in Maths, you already have leverage. If, however, you are a below-average student, then you have work to do. The easiest way to improve in Mathematics is to practice every day. Constant practice will cause an improvement. If there’s a need to, engage a tutor to assist you.
4. Take Advantage of Study Materials
A quick search on the internet will turn up tons of SAT study materials, including the Official SAT Study Guide by the College Board, the very Board that created and administers the SAT. These study materials contain practice questions, with some of them coming in DVD formats. The first step is to gather as much material as you can, after which you peruse them and work with the best of them. You can also talk to your teachers, parents, classmates, and friends as they may be able to help and guide you.
5. Learn How To Do Mental Math
Since there’s a non-calculator math test, there’s a need to know how to solve basic arithmetic mentally. And just like we said before, it takes practice.
6. Memorize Formulas
The first step to getting a maths question right is to apply the correct formula. So, memorize as many formulas as you can.
7. Don’t Cram
The one experience you wouldn’t want to have whilst the test is ongoing is going blank because you forgot one word in a sentence you crammed. To avoid that, make sure you understand the things you read before committing them to memory. That way, even if you forget the exact words, you will be able to come up with words synonymous with them with which you can still communicate the same information because you got the idea in the first place.
8. Take Practice Tests
As you continue in your study, take practice tests from time to time. With practice tests, you will be able to identify your area of strength and weakness.
9. Identify Your Weaknesses and Work on Them
As stated above, one way of identifying your Weaknesses is by taking practice tests. And when you do identify your weaknesses, channel more study time to those areas. If, for instance, you find that you are still performing poorly in your maths, then spend more time studying maths.
10. Get A Tutor
While some students may be able to prepare for the SAT, others may need extra help. So, you know the category you fall in. If you think you could use a little external help, by all means, get it. There are professionals everywhere who are more than willing to help you.
11. Work on Your Time Management
As you begin to take practice tests, use it as an avenue to work on your time management. Try to finish up all the questions within the stipulated time. Since the test is timed, you will most likely not get extra time. And if for some reason you are unable to finish, that already puts you at a disadvantage.
12. Retake the Test
If, after taking the test, you are not pleased with your scores, don’t beat yourself up. All you have to do is work even harder and then retake the test. The good thing is, there is no restriction on the number of times you can take the test. However, keep in mind that only the most recent 6 scores will stay on file at a time.
We do hope you found this article helpful on ways to improve your SAT score. We are rooting for you. Best of luck!