White hand holding white pencil over multiple-choice math test

5 Great SAT Prep Hacks to Succeed on Test Day

'Tis the season for the SAT, which means it's time to prep! Here are some study tricks and easy ways to prepare to take the test and get the scores you want.

This blog was originally posted on Brainly.com.

When it comes to SAT prep, your process determines your success. There are plenty of ways to steel yourself for test day, so it’s up to you to find the approach that will leave you feeling relaxed, confident, and ready to conquer. If you’ve come here to find a quick fix, you can stop reading now. The truth is, good preparation for anything takes focus, dedication, and time. But with these five tips, we hope to help you set a path toward achieving your highest potential score without wasting tons of time to get there.

1. Build your stamina

Sitting through a four-hour exam is no easy feat, regardless of its content. The good news is that concentration is like a muscle; it gets tired with overuse, but you can train it to withstand more. Repetitive and familiar practice will ready your mind for the mental marathon that lies ahead. You can start by undergoing a few practice tests. You’ll get a feel for the SAT’s content and its pacing and time commitment. Take these simulations in the same way you’d take the real SAT, giving yourself the allotted time for each section and for each break in between.

2. Target your studying

After a few practice tests, you should start to identify which parts of the test need the most work. Get efficient with your SAT prep by prioritizing training to focus on your weaker areas. Nail down the test sections with the most room for growth, target your efforts, and watch yourself take off! You’ll improve faster and more profoundly by workshopping these sections rather than taking entire practice tests week after week.

Related: How to Work on Your Academic Weaknesses in High School

3. Set your goals

Setting target SAT scores is your one-way ticket to motivation city. Having a concrete mission with a specific objective is crucial to persevering when the going gets tough. Your goal should be achievable but ambitious enough to challenge you. Don’t freak out if you end up falling short; any improvement is worth the effort. To get an idea of where you stand with the Math, Reading, and Writing & Language sections, take some practice tests until you have a rough picture of your performance. For the optional Essay section, share some of your written submissions with an expert, like an English teacher, tutor, parent, or mentor. Once you have your baseline, consider how much you’ll realistically be able to improve before the test. A 100-point improvement goal is a solid start, especially if it puts you within range of your schools' target scores.

4. Master your fundamentals

Grammar isn’t everyone’s favorite study topic, but knowing the rules can have a significant impact on your reading and writing skills. Grammar studies are even more important if you elect to take the Essay section. Ask your English teacher, a tutor, or a parent to look at a recent essay of yours, focusing specifically on grammar and syntax. Are some of your verbs conjugated incorrectly? Do you consistently make a “your/you’re” error or struggle with “there/their/they’re?” Does your writing have comma splices or one of many other common grammar mistakes?

With the SAT Math section, 58 questions in 80 minutes leaves little room for missteps. Fortunately, there are lots of resources that map out commonly used math formulas and skills. Start with the 11 geometric formulas given to you as a reference on the test. Practice working with these formulas to get a sense of each one’s utility. Your calculator is your friend, but remember to think critically about the answers it gives you. Understanding the basics will help conceptualize what those answers should be!

5. Find SAT prep that works

Tutors and teachers know the SAT, and they offer a variety of prep classes for every student’s needs. It’s crucial to find the process that works best for you. Some students enjoy having group classes where they can improve alongside their friends and classmates. Others prefer one-on-one instruction to meet their specialized needs. SAT tutors and services are viable prep options, but piling these on can get expensive. Look for free online and local resources designed to help ready you for test day.

Related: Fun SAT Vocab Prep With the Dictionary of Difficult Words

If you’re starting to think about getting your act together for the SAT this year, use these tried-and-true tactics to give yourself an early and lasting boost. Remember, these “hacks” aren’t meant to be implemented all at once. The right preparation happens one step at a time. Give yourself time to reflect and experiment with which of these tactics work best for you.

Read the full article on Brainly, and find more study hacks in our Test Prep section.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
sat SAT prep standardized tests studying test prep

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Aaliyah

Aaliyah

High School Class of 2022

My mother signed me up for a couple of scholarship contests through CollegeXpress. I was also able to do some research and compare the different schools on my list. I was able to see the graduation rates and different programs that helped me decide on Adelphi University. I will continue looking for some scholarships for my start in September.

Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has been a huge help! The website is very organized with finding the right scholarship for anyone and anything. With CollegeXpress, I've been able to find many scholarship opportunities to apply for. Not only that, I'm also able to search for the colleges I have interest in and see what’s required and what scholarships they offer. I've learned a lot from CollegeXpress. They've helped me in many ways to achieve my goals!

Kyla McClain

Kyla McClain

High School Class of 2024

I found CollegeXpress when you partnered with Bold.org for a scholarship. I found your website, put my information in, and got connected. I only wanted to stay in North Carolina [for college] and not move far from home, but you all opened a door up for me. I started researching colleges you suggested for me. On your social media platforms, you also give really good test-taking tips that I used and suggested others to do the same. It helped me a lot on my exams, so thank you.

Katelyn

Katelyn

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress gave me options of schools with my major and from there I was able to pick what was most important to me in a school. Everything was so organized that I could see all the information I needed.

Victoria Fuss

Victoria Fuss

March Madness Scholarship Winner, Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has helped me dramatically. Moving on to the next level has been a dream of my mine since I was just a young kid, and the support and help CollegeXpress has given me will help me further my education. I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone at CollegeXpress!

College Matches