|SAT Pitfalls and Tips
Before you go on to the SAT Study Material and the Questions,
here are a few common Pitfalls to avoid and Basic Strategies
that will help you get a higher SAT score.
All Questions are NOT equal
The questions on the SAT generally get tougher towards the end
of a section. (Only in the Math and Sentence Completion section)
Though all questions have equal marks, you can easily spend
double the time or more on a tough question.
It is best to answer the easy questions first and come back to the
tough ones later.
The obvious answer is the Wrong Answer
There is a catch here. While the obvious answer is indeed the
Correct one in the beginning of a section, towards the end, the
obvious answer (the one you can guess without spending much
time on), is likely to be the wrong one, so be careful.
Guess if you can eliminate at least ONE answer
Do NOT become emotionally involved with any question. Even if
you think the questions is outrageously difficult or outright
incorrect. Just try to eliminate at least one answer, guess and
Know that time can be your biggest enemy
Certain questions by their very nature take more time to answer.
The first step to better time management is to recognize these
While doing your practice tests, try to become more aware of how
much time you have taken to answer a question. You will soon
begin to develop an Internal Clock that will help you meet the
pacing requirements of the SAT and reduce test anxiety.
This is immensely useful for the Critical Reading section of the
SAT Exam. While there may be a 'Perfect' answer to a question, it
may not appear as one of the options.
What you need to do is compare the different answer choices and
choose the best one available. In fact you can usually zero down
on two choices and discard the ones that are distinctly different
from these two.
Use Short cuts Only when necessary
As I have explained in detail in my book 'Ways of the SAT
Winners', it is extremely important to be aware of all the possible
shortcuts that are available to you.
Analyze your Strengths & Weaknesses and create a study
plan unique to these.
The important thing here is to stick to your study plan.
Take three to five minutes to think before you write. Pick a
direction and stick to it, Write for 20 to 25 minutes-and say
something meaningful & coherent Use your last few minutes to
proofread your work. Also, be sure to write neatly. If the essay
scorers can't read your essay, they can't score it,
Graders have just a few minutes to score each essay. Make their
job easy. Indent your paragraphs deeply and follow established
essay-writing procedures. Set up your theme in an introductory
paragraph. Include a couple of paragraphs with examples that
back up your position. Finally, wrap up with a conclusion. Also,
Villanova suggests, "use plenty of college-appropriate 'wow'
words-even when short, easy words will do."
More than anything else, the SAT is an test of your nerves. There
are hundreds of brilliant students who score MUCH lower in the
SAT than they do in their practice tests. It is important to manage
your test anxiety. You can try using techniques like 'Thought
Stopping', 'Self-Talk' and 'Visualization.
I have detailed out these and other advanced strategies for getting
a score of 2200+ in the ebook Ways of the SAT Winners.
Learn how SAT Winners Improve their Reading skills here.
Get some practice solving typical 'End-of-the-section' tough Math
Brush up your Grammar in our Special SAT Grammar Section.
Click here to read how Joe got a 2340 Score.
Of course, you cannot forget the all important 'Vocabulary' section.
This section does NOT give you thousands of 'dry' words with meaning.
It provides you with the 1100 Most Important SAT Words, and clearly illustrates
their usage in sentences.
Learn about Joe’s SAT
prep strategy that got him
a 2340 Score and how it
can benefit YOU.