Standardized testing scores are one of the single most important pieces of information subject to scrutiny during the college admission process. One of the two most common tests up for review is the abominable SAT. With the power students have behind this massive milestone in their education, it is wise to take advantage of that control to make the most of their testing experience. Students preparing for the SAT should always remember to:
- Find useful ways to allocate your extra time and resources. If you know you have a few months before your testing date, then take that time to study. Have a spare moment between class periods? Whip out that SAT prep book and just flip through a few pages. There are comprehensive testing manuals – both online and in print – just brimming with valuable test day information! Not to mention, there is an abundance of previous test-takers spread throughout most high schools or online SAT forums.
- Read carefully and pay attention. When you are ready for testing day, remember what your teachers have always requested. Listen to the proctor’s instructions, and follow along as they explain the test. The process may be time consuming, but keep in mind that the information is given for a reason, and missing any important bits of directions can have adverse affects on your score. Even as you are finishing your test, you should be replaying the proctor’s words through your mind as best as you can in order to ensure you have your test completed properly.
- Try not to over-think the exam. The SAT is based off of typical high school curriculum, so chances are you have at least a majority of the information you will encounter during the test. If you cannot recall or have never seen any part of the material, you always have the chance to simply skip the question. While answering a question wrong will lead to a point deduction, leaving a question blank has no affect on your score! There are, of course, other reasons not to stress the exam. These include the possibility of retesting.
- Take the exam more than once. If you don’t wait until the last few months before applying to college to take the test, then there is the opportunity to take the SAT more than once. Get a proper taste for the test and its environment before coming in again to truly tame that beast of an exam. Keep in mind that many colleges will collect the best scores you achieve if you do take the SAT numerous times. PSAT’s are also available locally to provide proper insight into what an actual test day will be like, as well as what scores may be expected. Remember, if you utilize your extra time after the first batch of either pre-testing or actual SAT-taking, the scores you earn can always be improved.