The Definitive Guide to SAT: How To Pass It The SAT is a standardized test that many colleges and universities require for admission. It impacts your life long after you take it, so there are many good reasons to do everything in your power to pass the test. In this blog post, we will discuss how to prepare for the exam to get the best score possible. How Do I Figure Out MAY SAT Goal Score? The SAT is a standardized test designed to measure verbal and mathematical reasoning skills. It also tests critical reading skills, which are crucial for success in college courses.Colleges use the results of the SAT as one factor among many when deciding whether to admit or deny an applicant. Since its cost can be high per section plus registration fees–it’s essential that you have the best score possible. How to Prepare for the Test There are currently three sections on the exam – critical reading, math, and writing. The essay is no longer required, but many students still take this section anyway because they receive a “pride” score even if their writing skills are not up to par. The Math Section The math section is divided into two parts, with questions focusing on arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Students are provided a calculator for the math portion of the test. The critical reading section contains three types of questions – multiple-choice, sentence completion, and passages. Sentence completions give students one to four words as an answer choice. They must fill in the blank with the word that best completes or substitutes for the underlined phrase. Passages test reasoning skills by having students read excerpts then answer questions based on what was read. Multiple choice questions require you to select one correct answer out of five choices. These tests focus on vocabulary skills and use synonyms and analogies to maximize your chance for success! Don't leave any of these questions unanswered, or you will lose valuable points on this section! The Critical Reading Section Your ability to reason through passages on subjects including literature, historical documents, social sciences, and natural sciences are being determined in this section. Some questions will ask you to interpret charts and graphs, while others may involve applying specific rules of syntax or understanding relationships between ideas within a passage. You can also expect some questions about rhetorical devices and determining an author’s purpose! There are three parts to this section – sentence completions, passages, and reading comprehension. Sentence completions ask for one-word answers. Fill in each blank with a solution that fits the best. You can expect to see about six sentence completion questions on each Critical Reading section, testing your vocabulary skills. Passages are short essays or parts of longer articles. Mostly these passages will be paired with questions that test your comprehension skills. Make sure you know what is being discussed in the passage before attempting to answer any questions! After reading each passage, try to determine its main idea. Also, think about whether or not there are any details in the passage that seems unnecessary for understanding the main idea and choose words that would better replace them. Lastly, find out what tone is set by the author's word choice, etc. The reading comprehension tests your ability to understand how information is presented in passages. The questions may ask you to make inferences, or they may require you to understand the passage's structure. You can expect about 4-6 questions per passage on this section. Besides improving your vocabulary and reasoning skills, you should also familiarize yourself with the most common types of words used in the English language, like homophones, ellipses, and idioms. Also, always keep an eye out for “irrelevant” information that appears in passages. Sometimes, authors purposely include these details, so test-takers will have a harder time finding correct answers! The Writing Section The Writing Section of the SAT includes multiple-choice questions and writing tasks. The multiple-choice questions, like those on the Reading Section, use synonyms and analogies to test your vocabulary skills, while the writing tasks ask you to write essays about given prompts. The multiple-choice portion of this section includes 44 questions that can be answered in 35 minutes and is worth 25% of your final English score. This section tests the use of vocabulary and grammar through synonym and analogy questions. Some of the questions will have no correct answer, while others may ask for wording in a specific context, or they may ask you to choose words that are most nearly opposite in meaning. The second part of the Writing Section is the essay assignment. You will be asked to read a passage and write an essay responding to the given prompt (a topic). Strategies for Answering Questions on the SAT You should know that good scores on the SAT do not come from magic–studying is a must. Make sure you do as many practice tests as possible before taking the real exam and use all of the resources available to develop your skills. Make it a goal to be able to finish each test in under one hour. That way, you can focus on solving questions within the time limit, not on how much time is left! Process of elimination – If there are four answer choices left after eliminating those you know are incorrect, pick one of those four and apply your next strategy. Ballparking – If one result is twice another result, it's probably wrong. Similarly, if one number is half another number, it can't be the correct answer. Fill in the blanks – if you cannot eliminate any of the choices, try to match your knowledge with what is being asked. If you have a solid basis in vocabulary, these questions should be easy for you! Use a process of trial and error – With this strategy, come up with a solution that's most likely going to work, then see if it works when solving the problem. If not, try something else! As much as possible, solve problems backward from how they are typically taught in school. This way, you will avoid getting stuck on steps because they may appear easy but come much later when solving typical math questions. Read every single question before starting to solve any problems. This will help you from falling into common traps and enable you to find the best solution to a problem. Knowing these strategies alone is not enough! It is important to practice. If you have a test preparation book or software, you can find many great questions available to help with this. When Should I Take the Test - What Are My Options? The first choice you have is on what date to take the test.When considering what date to pick, it is essential to consider how much time you have until your college applications need to be submitted, as early test scores may not always arrive before deadlines. In addition, if you would like to retake the test for various reasons, such as poor performance or simply because you’d like a second shot at improving your score, this will impact when you decide to take the SAT. You should check with a guidance counselor at school for information about how colleges view these new scores.The second choice you have is how many times to take the test. Taking the SAT more than once may be beneficial, especially if you don’t feel your first performance adequately reflects your abilities. If a student is unsure about their ability level, it’s best that they take the test at least twice! You also have the option of just taking it once – something which some students choose for personal reasons such as simply being lazy! Tips and Tricks That Can Help You Get a Better Score on Your Next Exam! Purchase a test preparation book to review the test format and identify common questions that appear in each section. You can find them in any bookstore or library if your school doesn't have one. Make sure you do practice tests under realistic conditions to get better at taking exams. Don't just study a few nights before--you won't recall most of it when it is exam day! If, for some reason, you need to postpone the SAT, be sure your new date falls within the same registration time frame as it would fall within another registration time frame. Speak with your guidance counselor if necessary. These are just some of the strategies mentioned earlier which should help you do better on your next SAT. An excellent score not only depends on your scores on individual sections but also on how well you perform overall for the exam. Practice hard, put in the time and effort necessary, and give it your best shot! Conclusion The SAT is a challenging exam, and you should not take it lightly. However, with preparation and adequate time to study, you can master the test and do better than you think you possibly can! Finally, keep your chin up, don’t get discouraged or give up if you run into some problems–it happens to everyone at one point or another. Stay confident and good luck on test day!For articles like this and more, subscribe to our learning center’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.