So you got the lowdown on the new version of the SAT from the latest issue of Justine, but you’re looking for more tips on acing the test? Justine intern Eliza is sharing a few tried-and-true pointers, and trust us, she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to all things academic. We won’t embarrass her by publishing her test scores, but let’s just say she’ll soon be packing her bags for Harvard!
- Take the test first without any preparation; this will give you a good sense of which areas you need to work on.
- Take it a few times! The great thing about the SAT is that if you don’t like your score you can take it again. It’s not a one-and-done situation. See what needs improvement, work on it and try again. But don’t take the test too many times. Three or four should be enough to get your highest score.
- Treat test prep like homework. Nothing will get done if you don’t make time for practice. It’s important to set aside and hour or two each week or night to do some practice tests before the actual exam.
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I know some people who treated the SAT as the be-all/end-all of their intelligence and how they would get into college. While it is important to do well on this exam, it’s not the most important thing. Putting too much pressure on your score can make you nervous and can lead to poor test performance.
- Save the hard questions for last. For subjects that came hard to me, like science, I would save the questions I didn’t know until the very end. This way I could focus more of my energy on what I could get right, and had more time at the end to work out what was harder.
- Come prepared. If you get distracted easily, try bringing some earplugs so you can’t hear anything. If cold rooms bother you, bring a sweatshirt, just in case. Make sure to have plenty of pencils, some snacks and water if you want them during breaks, and don’t forget an approved calculator.
- Know what kind of test taker you are. If you know that you take a long time doing math problems, work on your pace by taking several timed practice tests beforehand.
- Trust yourself. At the end of the day all you can do is put your best foot forward and be confident in your preparation and knowledge.
- Remember that everything will work out. If you’re one to put too much pressure on the test, or you’re taking it for the third or fourth time, don’t worry. When it’s all said and done you’ll be in college and it’ll be great.