Standardized testing definitely isn’t anyone’s favorite thing to do, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. The SAT is one of the most important tests a student will take in his or her college career and can be a huge determinant for college admission decisions. The best way for a student to succeed on the SAT is practice, practice, practice. Students should take practice SAT exams so that they become familiar with the test’s structure, the types of questions, and the duration for test sections. By following these tips, any student can enhance their practice SAT score and feel a whole lot more confident for the actual exam:
The key to doing well on any exam is showing up prepared. Conversely, showing up unprepared can make even a high achieving student perform poorly. Before you take a practice exam, familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam. Students should be aware that the SAT consists of math, reading, and writing. It’s important to know that the SAT takes 3 hours and 50 minutes if students take the optional essay section. Students should know how many breaks they receive, and how much time they have to complete each section. Students should also understand how scoring works. You do not lose points for unanswered questions and only gain points for correct answers. Knowing the exam basics can help ease nerves the day of the exam so students can focus more on doing well.
In a way, students have been preparing for the SAT for their whole academic career. However, students should still brush up on common math concepts, reading comprehension skills, and the best writing practices. If students have any questions about the test itself or concepts that might appear on the test, they can seek out expert advice from test prep tutors. After taking a practice test, students should reconvene with their tutors so they can begin preparing for the real SAT exam.
Since students take practice SAT exams outside of school, they can choose a location that works best for them. Whether at a tutoring center or a public library, a good location can make all the difference in performance. It’s always best to take the exam in a quiet, well-lit space, free from interruptions for a few hours. Students should also work at a desk that they can sit upright at. Being in the right space will help students stay focused and relaxed during the exam. During the actual SAT, the room will be quiet and free from many or any distractions. This way, students will become comfortable in a real testing environment.
You should treat the practice SAT as the real thing. If you lose focus or don’t take the practice exam seriously, you may find yourself struggling on test day. As such, students should pretend they are taking the real rest the day of a practice exam. This starts with the night before. Students should get a good night sleep and eat a healthy breakfast in the morning. They should have all the necessary materials with them ready to take the test. This means pencils, a calculator, and the exam materials. Bringing phones, computers, and study materials to practice exam serve no purpose.
Students should set a timer so that the time allotted for each section is the same as the real test. This will help students become familiar with how much time they can spend on each question and the essay. When taking the practice test, students should try their best on each section to get the most accurate score. By treating the practice test like it’s the real thing, students will become accustomed to real testing environments, thereby reducing anxiety.
There is no harm in taking practice exams. They will only help students be more prepared and perform better on the real SAT. One of the best things to do is evaluate your performance after the exam. Write down a list of concepts you struggled with, the vocabulary you were not familiar with, and any questions that arose about the structure of the test. Make sure a teacher, tutor, or your own research answers those questions before you take the next one. It will be helpful to use practice tests to guide your studying. If you struggled in some areas, then you’ll know what where you need improvement when you take the real SAT.
Once you calculate your score, check if it meets your dream college’s standard. If you feel nervous about their average acceptance score, you know it is possible to reach for the next one. Students taking practice tests also tend to show up to the SAT more prepared and score higher.