How to Prepare for the SAT

The SAT Reasoning Test is considered the most researched standardized test for college admission. Obtaining a passing score is supposed to indicate college readiness as well as scholarship potential of a student entering college. Though not an admissions requirement in all colleges and universities, it still is a requirement in most educational institutions.

Readiness Programs

It is to the best interest of students who wish to take the test to prepare themselves. Students can take advantage of SAT practice tools to help them become familiar with the test experience as well as to increase their confidence and comfort in taking the test. The College Board which prepares the actual SAT exams also encourages students to participate in their readiness programs which provides for print materials, online service, and teachers’ workshops.

Students can also consider taking the PSAT/NMSQT also to familiarize themselves with the test and conditions expected to prevail during test day itself. To ably ready themselves for the 3-hour and 45-minute test, students are advised to spend their classroom time in rigorous study specifically in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematic. SAT scores will serve to supplement a student’s academic record.

What is the Test Like?

The SAT test consists of three (3) main sections for Critical Reading, Writing, and Math. These sections are divided into subsections. The 3 subsections dedicated to Critical Reading will test the student’s ability to understand and analyze what is read, understand word meanings in context, and recognize relationships between sentence parts. The 3 subsections for Mathematics will involve problem solving in Algebra and functions; Geometry and measurement; number and operations; as well as data analysis, statistics, and probability. The 3 subsections for Writing will test students’ capability to use standard written English, identify sentence errors, and write an essay and develop a point of view.

An equating section is added to the test which would take an additional 25 minutes to complete. Scores obtained from this section will not count towards the over-all score. It is merely to test new questions for future use. Each main section will provide a score on a scale of 200 to 800 thereby providing a perfect score of 2400.

Ways to Prepare for the Test
Aside from taking part in test readiness programs, students can support their preparation further by taking practice sets in workbooks that can be purchased in bookstores or found at local libraries. They should provide special attention and extra time to the subjects where they are weak. Weakness can be identified through the scores obtained from practice tests.

A study program that commences months in advance ensures students of sufficient time to study instead of cramming. Study and tutoring sessions can be scheduled to provide focus and organization. Students should also work on building their confidence and maintaining a healthy state of mind and body. The night before the test date requires test takers to take a good rest to be fully prepared the next day.

On the test day itself, students must provide enough time to prepare one’s self, eat a healthy breakfast, arrive on the testing area with sufficient time to spare, and finish attending to personal matters such as going to the restroom before entering the restroom. The next restroom trips will only be allowed during breaks. With enough presence of mind, students will understand how to prepare for the SAT.