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What is the best way to study and prepare for the SAT exam?

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John’s Answer

First things first Daniela. You need to determine how much time you need to achieve your target score. You need to begin by taking a practice SAT to discover your starting point; then, you will be able to see how much you need to improve your starting point to reach your target score.

Studies have shown that preparing for the SAT by taking sample questions is one of the most effective study methods available. Achieving a top score on your SATs is crucial if you want to get into the college of your choice. Unfortunately, the SAT can be extremely difficult to master if you are not prepared for it. The difference between achieving an average score versus an exceptional score often comes down to preparation - knowing what and how to study.

You can focus your study for the SAT by using the right study guide. A good study guide helps you pinpoint your weak areas, gives you good study tips, and provides ample practice questions. The best study guides also help you by improving your problem solving abilities. Make the best use of your time by focusing on the areas that need the most work. This means you should target the questions that you miss and learn exactly why you missed them. There is little room for error on the SAT, so you’ll need to know how to tackle every type of question! I recommend that for every practice question you encounter, make a note if you are unsure about your answer. This will allow you to go back and review why the answers are correct and how you can learn.

It is important to keep an appropriate pace going to finish your SAT Test, even though the time limits on the SAT Test should allow you to finish your exam. Determine a “time budget” for each question. For example, if you have 50 minutes to answer 25 questions, then you have about two minutes per question. After every few questions, check the time to see if you are still on schedule. Skip questions you don’t know – don’t dwell on them. Conversely, don’t rush questions that you think you know – read them twice and pick the best answer. Careless mistakes are often what separate an exceptional score from a mediocre score.

Daniela your attitude when it comes to preparing and acing your SAT Test is the most important factor that you can control. You need to be positive and have confidence. You need to believe that you will score high on your exam. While you are taking your exam, you need to have confidence and relax. If you come across an answer that frustrates you – just skip it and come back to it later. DO NOT PANIC! If you have studied with the resources on this website – YOU WILL SCORE HIGH!

Hope this was Helpful Daniela

John recommends the following next steps:

OFFICIAL SAT STUDY GUIDE – If you’re looking for an official guide, you should consider this product. It’s from The College Board and includes official SAT practice tests and study material. Since these study guides come straight from the test maker, they’re some of the best materials that you can get for the SAT. Although the four major practice tests are available on the official website, this guide gives you the practice tests in print, which makes them more realistic. The guide also comes with 300 pages of additional instructions, test information and guidance.
SAT PREP BLACK BOOK: THE MOST EFFECTIVE SAT STRATEGIES EVER PUBLISHED – Another top guide is the SAT Prep Black Book. It boasts the best SAT strategies ever published, and it actually makes good on this promise. You can get the paperback version, and it contains the best strategies from Mike Barrett, who is an SAT tutor. With the study material contained within this book, you have a much better chance of scoring a perfect 2400. If you want to be competitive, you’ll need to shoot for a perfect score, and you can get all of the study material that you need from this book.
Thank you comment icon thank you so much!! Daniela
Thank you comment icon Your Welcome Daniela. What you achieve inwardly will change your outer reality. John Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Jon. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” — Muhammad Ali John Frick
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Saurabh’s Answer

Hi Daniela,

My advise is going to be a bit different, nonetheless, it may prove to be quite useful.

SAT tests your aptitude in various areas. One of hardest things about improving your aptitude is that it improves very slowly and incrementally in general. Practice is useful but only to a limited extent. To verify that, try doing SAT tests with some of your colleagues and you may find that many of your friends or colleagues, may fare extremely well and other not so well. Those who are faring extremely well may not be practicing much but still getting good scores in SAT mock tests.

Why is that? The single most important reason is how their brain processes the information. One of the best way for anyone's brain to process information fast and accurately (as its needed in any aptitude test) is to make sure you consume the information/question in a crystal clear and visual manner. All the questions when read generate a clear image on what is being asked and what is answered is also very clearly visualized in the mind first. This does not come easy and requires a different kind of practice. I will suggest when you prepare for SAT, invest an hour to simply practice questions by solving them fully mentally instead of using a pen and paper. Ensure that seemingly difficult questions and calculations or analysis in done in the mind's eye. All this can be effectively done when you are completely relaxed and are in a habit of solving questions while being highly relaxed.

Once you do this over a few weeks, you will see that your speed and accuracy has significantly improved. Science has provided enough evidence that it is not just how hard we study but actually how we allow our brains to process information is more/equally important.

Hope that helps!!
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Jon’s Answer

I found the library to be a great source for study guides. As John said taking practice tests and answering the question of the day is critical. The study guides also give insight to the structure of the SAT and how to approach the questions.

Also review the College Board's web site. Knowing what to expect on the day of the test, being prepared and confident can reduce a lot of the stress.