The SAT is used by colleges to gather a rough estimation of your academic abilities. While the SAT is mainly used for college applications, it also has secondary uses as some scholarships have a minimum SAT score requirement. With the SAT being so important and widely used, it’s imperative that you perform to the best of your ability. That being said, the first time you take it, don’t study.

Tip #1 Don’t study:

Believe it or not, this is one of the most prevalent scraps of advice you’ll hear about the SAT, and I 100% support it. I highly recommend that you take the SAT, get a feel for the test, and save the stress of studying for other matters that need it. When you get your results, take note of the category that you want to raise and focus(study) on it. I guarantee that the second time you take the test, you will do better. For instance, my writing score was less than satisfactory.

Tip #2 Don’t Dawdle (Specifically on the writing portion, you have 25 minutes. use them.)

This is the section where most students drop the ball, including me. The test starts off by throwing you into the writing portion where you have 25 minutes to create an essay expressing your educated opinion on the subject given in the prompt. You have to ration your time here. With such a low amount to work with, the graders aren’t expecting perfection. They are expecting you to develop an insightful point-of-view with appropriate reasons and to use language skillfully. Everyone writes different, but I tackle the essay by taking the first few minutes to carefully read the prompt, scavenge enough information to scrape together an introduction, create an argument for and against for the second and third paragraph, and restate my points in the conclusion. If there’s enough time, I add an extra paragraph in the body of the essay.

Tip #3 Don’t Panic

The SAT is going to last from 8:00-12:00 something, and being distressed for the entire morning is detrimental to your success. Get a good sleep the night before, but don’t change your sleeping schedule. Say if you are going to sleep at midnight every night, don’t suddenly decide to sleep at 9:00 P.M. the night before. Steel yourself before you start, the morning will be long and it will be boring. Bring snacks, water, pencils (Number 2, they won’t allow anything else), a calculator approved by the SAT, some sort of identification, and your SAT admission ticket. Despite what they say on their site, bringing your phone is fine. Before the test starts, they ask everyone to power off their electronics and put them away in backpacks which are moved under the desk or in the corner of the room. The SAT may be stressful or boring, but all in all, it isn’t as hard as you’d think.

by Jonathan Chancey

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