Every year, millions of college-bound high schoolers take the SAT, aiming their sights at a high score to get into the school of their dreams. For someone to do well on the exam, they need to not only be intelligent but also well-prepared. These are four ways to prepare for the SAT.
1. Create a Study Schedule
Anyone who has tried to cram for a test should know that it just doesn’t work. Give yourself a break by creating a study schedule that addresses your needs. Determine which subjects need the most attention. If geometry is a weak spot for you, then you should put aside a good amount of time until you feel comfortable with that subject. Work SAT studying time into your daily homework routine. Keep plentiful notes in an organized and secure location and refer to them frequently.
2. Form a Study Group
Studying by yourself can get rather boring, not to mention lonely. To help you stay alert and motivated, form a study group with others who are about to take the SAT. There needs to be a balance of people with different expertise in different topics so that you can help one another. You also need to make sure everyone stays on track. Consider doing things like putting phones away until the study session is up. Keep the group to a minimum in order to avoid too many distractions. You might try forming a study group with people you don’t know very well to avoid getting sidetracked by other conversations.
3. Practice Problems
Too much studying is done passively. People open textbooks and find their eyes glazing over them as they try to stay awake. To keep your mind in check, you need to practice doing problems similar to ones on the SAT. Follow along with math instruction videos on YouTube, and work on developing stronger essay-writing skills. This can help you to adapt much more easily to the testing environment.
4. Take Practice Tests
Test anxiety can be significantly reduced by taking practice tests. You can find practice tests online or in SAT prep books. Take as many as possible and see what areas are in most need of review. Wait to take practice tests until you feel you have enough of a grasp on the material to get a good score. Your results will help to inform your subsequent study habits. As long as you can have a general sense of confidence going into the exam, you don’t have to worry.
The SAT can be nerve-wracking, even for students who get consistently strong grades. To improve your performance, you should commit to these strategies. Don’t waste any time on reviewing material, as every day spent preparing can bring you one step to your favored college. On the day of the test, you can be in the zone and look forward to a great score.