Here are some general strategies for the SAT. No test taker is fully prepared for the SAT if any of these strategies is not entirely second-nature. Master these to achieve your highest score!
Before trying out these strategies, you'll need to have the proper study and practice materials; you can find them at How can I improve my SAT scores?
- The more you write, the higher your score. Show calculations, underline important information, SHOW process of elimination, circle things you don’t understand.
- Do not try to finish all of the questions in a section. Instead, try to work accurately on every question that you have time for and check all answers.
- Work with what you know – If you can’t define a word, circle it and move on quickly. Spend time with things you understand, not with things you don’t.
- SKIP AROUND - do all of the questions that you find easy first, then make a second and third sweep for the harder/time-consuming ones. Save reading passages that you don’t like for last, as well as general and long questions. Leave function, parabola, combination, etc questions for last unless you are a pro at that type.
- Divide Math questions into Basic/Medium/Advanced and spend all the time you need working on Basic questions before moving to the next sections. This means read and re-read the questions and check your answers two or more times.
- Use Process of Elimination at all times. If a number is way too big or small, cross it off. If an answer choice has nothing to do with the question cross it off. If an answer choice is silly, cross it off. But never cross off an answer choice if you don’t know what it means or if you are not sure.
- THE GUESSING RULE – NEVER leave a question blank if you can cross off ANY answer choice. ALWAYS make a guess if you can eliminate anything. ALWAYS try to eliminate at least one answer choice and guess if necessary.
- Do not leave any FILL-INs blank – gess “7” or any number that seems appropriate
- Do not circle an answer choice if you know it is wrong - This sounds so obvious, but sometimes it isn’t. If you only understand one of the answer choices, DO NOT select it just because you know it. If it is not the perfect answer, CROSS IT OFF AND GUESS.
- When stuck – reread EVERY SINGLE WORD. Point to each word with your pencil. Your problem is that you’re skipping over one important word.
- When stuck - JUST START WRITING. Eliminate one horrible answer. CHOOSE the number 100 and just start working through the math.
- The WORST MISTAKE that you can make on the SAT is spending too much time on one question. If you’re getting nowhere, use the guessing rule, then circle the entire question and come back later.