What you Need to Know before taking the SAT

Many of my students are taking the SAT this spring. Here are some helpful tips for you. 

How to Prepare - There are many wonderful SAT prep courses available. My favorite option by far is offered through Khan Academy. It is FREE!  I've seen my students raise test scores by 200 points by using this program. https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/sat

If you have taken a previous SAT, then you can link your previous scores to the testing preparation on Khan Academy. This is a valuable tool. They will personalize your practice tests for you. Here is a short tool on how to link your College Board Account with your Khan Academy account.

I have a few personal tips that I recommend you use as well.

1. You should always include the essay portion when taking the test. Some schools will not accept your SAT scores unless the essay portion was taken on the same day as well. 

2. Write on your test! Knowing that you can write on your test will be helpful as you try to solve problems and make notes for yourself. 

3. When encountering the reading passages on the test, I recommend you read the questions first. After you read the questions, go back to the text above and read it. As you read, circle words that are familiar from the questions your read below. This will allow you to have clues as to where to find the information you are looking for. Read again and begin working through the problems. 

4. Do what you know, circle what you don't. I recommend that you answer all the questions in each section that you know. Circle the ones you don't and go back and answer those when you have completed the ones you are more certain of. 

5. Write the ending time of each section at the top of your test. Before you begin, write down the time that the section will end. This will allow you to know how your doing. 

6. When you have 5 minutes left before the section time ends, go back and just guess on the ones you haven't answered. It isn't likely that you will guess correctly, but it is certain that each question should have been given some answer. 

7. There are several strategies in place for guessing on SAT questions. You can see some of the suggestions below. 




What you should take day of the test :

Watch - Yes, you will need a real watch! You can find them very cheap. 

SAT Admissions ticket - You will need to print this out on College Board and take it with you on test day.

ID - Drivers license or official photo ID


2 or more #2 pencils