The SAT is one of the main requirements to enroll to a university in the USA. Quite a lot of students dread their encounter with the test. However, should you know the right steps, the test should be less scary than expected.
Whether the preparation is done through the SAT preparation book, class or private tutoring, or via online, the number one step is to know the types of questions, topics and sections that will appear in the test. Figuring out that there will be reading, math, writing and language parts as well as optional essay are not as helpful as knowing these details:
- There will be 52 questions divided into 20% fiction, 40% science and another 40% social science in the reading part that need to be done in 65 minutes.
- In the writing and language part, there are 4 passages, each of which is followed by 11 questions which require you to deal with language effective use and grammar features, like subject and verb agreement and parallel structure. The amount of time alloted for this part is 35 minutes. The genre for this section can be career
- Math section comes in two different styles: 38 questions with the use of calculator and 20 questions without. The topics consist of algebra, geometry, quadratics, linear equations, non-linear functions, problem solving and data analysis which include mean, median, percentage, etc. You have 80 minutes to deal with this section.
- In optional essay section, you will read a persuasive essay and analyze the writer’s argument. The time for this is 50 minutes.
The second step is to go through the complete SAT practice test over and over. This will be best if the practice test is timed like the real SAT test. Knowing the details may build up your confidence and make you more focused. However, doing the complete practice test which is timed will give you hints on the real situations of the real test. By doing this several times, you will know how to manage your time effectively. The timed test version is usually available online. If possible, choose the ones that also allow you to analyze your answers because through the analysis, you will know how to improve and be able to see the progress you have made.
The third step is to practice identifying questions that are easy and medium to you. This goes with the test rule, in which the score is not based on how many questions you answer, but on how many correct answers you give. It will be best to slow down on the easy and medium questions so you can get the most out of them.
The fourth step is to practice finding out the wrong answers. As the test is mainly in the form of multiple choice questions with options that can be confusing and tricky at times, being able to identify the wrong answers will broaden your chance of getting the right one. Typically, there are four options to choose, finding out one incorrect option will increase the possibility of choosing the correct answer by 25%.
The probability of performing well in the test is higher when you are well informed of the test format, types of questions and topics, have gone through the timed complete practice test a couple times, have the ability to get the most points from the questions that are easy or medium to you and to identify the wrong answers out of the four possible correct answers.