College Prep

Tips & Tricks for Studying for the SATs

High School student studying for the SATs

An important part of any college preparation is taking important tests used toward admittance. Most high school students know that the SAT exam is now fully digital as of Spring 2023. This means no more pencil and paper, but for digital natives like today’s students, this should be an easy transition.

What Does the SAT Entail? 

The SAT has two sections that consist of: reading and writing, and math. You will have 64 minutes to work through the reading and writing questions and 70 minutes to complete the math section. You’ll get a 10-minute break between the two sections. Questions offer a mix of easy, medium, and hard degrees of difficulty. Compared to the ACT, the SAT provides 68% more time per question, and most questions are multiple choice.

According to KapTest, here are some frequently asked questions about the SAT:

How Many Times Can You Take the SAT?

You can take the SAT as many times as you like; most take it 2 or 3 times. It is highly recommended that you take the PSAT (the practice test) during your sophomore year. To give yourself enough time to take the SAT more than once, you will want to start in spring or winter of your junior year. Your scores are good for 5 years.

What Is the Difference Between the ACT and the SAT?

Both are accepted at all major colleges and universities. You can decide which test you’d prefer to take, or take both if you like. Unlike the ACT, the SAT does not have a separate science section, but it does give a science cross-test score. Want to find out which is right for you? Try a free SAT vs ACT Practice Test.

What is Considered a Good SAT Score?

On the SAT, a perfect score is 1600, the lowest score possible is 400, and 1060 is the average score. The perspective of “a good score” varies, depending on the requirements of the schools where you hope to achieve acceptance. However, some colleges use superscores for both the ACT or SAT. This means they combine your highest section-level scores, regardless of which test the scores originated. This makes your “superscore.” 

Six Tip and Tricks That Will Help You Prepare for the SAT

Here are 6 tips and tricks that can help you achieve your goal — to score high enough to be a competitive candidate:

1. Register early. While registering by mail is an option, online is the preferred method. Pick a test center nearest to where you live, for convenience. Also, choose a test date at least 3 months in advance, so that you’ll have enough time to study, review, and be ready.

2. Know your strengths and weaknesses. The best way to boost your score is to take practice tests. It’s the only surefire way to determine your areas of strength, and those that need improvement. Luckily, Kaptest from Kaplan has all the assets you need to succeed, including online SAT prep courses, SAT Bootcamp, SAT Live tutoring through online classes, and more.

3. Pick your score goal. After receiving your first score, use that as your basis to seek improvement on your second test. Try for a 100-point increase on your second attempt. Remember, the higher you want your score to be, the more preparation you should anticipate.

 4. Come up with a study plan. Ensure that you start at least 3 months prior to the test, and dedicate the same amount of time each study session. Be certain to take at least 2 full-length practice tests to get comfortable with the format, and to know how much time you need to successfully complete the test.

5. Know the SAT vocabulary. The SAT requires a thorough knowledge of SAT vocabulary words. To learn these, check out Quizlet’s College Board Top 100 SAT/ACT Vocabulary Words.

6. Be prepared for test day. Make sure to have these items with you at the test location:

  • Admission ticket
  • Photo ID
  • An approved calculator
  • Two #A2 pencils with erasers 
  • A drink and snack for your break

But preparing for this pivotal experience in your life (both the SAT and the college experience, in general) can start even before preparing for the SATs, with online courses with leading universities. 

Preparing for your future college experience

There’s a wide array of enrichment programs for high school students at some of today’s leading colleges and universities. As you’ll see, Prelum partners, like Georgetown University, Rice University, Case Western Reserve University, and William & Mary, offer pre-college online programs and top high school summer programs in a broad range of subjects. If you are a motivated student with a dream to attend the college of your choice, college prep is the way to go. You can start taking courses in subjects you have interest in as early as 13 years old.

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