How to Prepare for the SAT Last Minute

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Elizabeth Hoyt

August 04, 2016

How to Prepare for the SAT Last Minute

Whether you signed up late, you had a busy semester at school or you just plain put it off, if you haven’t spent the three months prior to your SAT exam date preparing for the test, you’re probably getting extra nervous as the test day nears. The reason you haven’t been studying doesn’t matter. What you can do last minute does.

Take a Practice Test

When you have less than a week before your test day, the most important thing you can do is take a full-length practice test. This will introduce you to the test’s format and material, so that you become comfortable with both. When you’re taking the real test you won’t have to read each set of directions as carefully because you’ll already know what type of questions to expect. Be sure to get your practice test scored and review it to see which questions you got wrong, which questions you got right and why each answer was the best choice for that question. This will show you which topics to focus your limited study time on.

Last Minute Reading

What you shouldn’t do: Even though they are the topics of the passages, don’t spend any time studying US or world literature, US founding documents, social science or Earth science; the questions will be testing reading comprehension, not knowledge of the passage topic.
What you should do: Take a short (better yet, full-length) practice reading test everyday left before your test. You need to become comfortable with the types of reading questions.

Last Minute Math

What you shouldn’t do: Don’t simply take and retake math practice tests. This is too broad of a study strategy this late in the game.
What you should do: Focus on the math topics that you didn’t do well on during the practice test. To maximize the time you’ve got left, study what you’re uncomfortable with. Also, find an accepted calculator and get used to using it!

Last Minute Writing

What you shouldn’t do: Don’t spend too much time on practicing for the writing section. Yes, it’s important, but unless you’re prepping for a retake of the SAT for the single purpose of upping your writing score, it’s not the most important thing in the last hour.
What you should do: The writing test has one type of prompt. Check it out! Though the specifics in the prompt will change, the instructions won’t. A day or two before the SAT, take a practice writing test to get familiar with the types of arguments you’ll need to make and the test’s timing. Do this once or twice to get the hang of it.

While last minute SAT prep is not ideal, it is doable. Don’t be discouraged; make the most out of your situation. For any last minute SAT questions or tips, Chegg tutors are available 24/7!

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