SAT Study Tips
February 20, 2014
Don't stress over the SAT, just prep for it instead!
You’ve got a lot of pressure to do well on the SAT – it’s one of the biggest exams of your life. You know you need to prepare, you know you need to study, but you don’t know exactly how to go about doing it.
Don’t stress, here are five easy ways you can approach the exam preparation process:
1. Practice as if You’re There
Everyone knows they should take practice exams, but it’s also important to actually create the entire exam experience. Make sure you don’t have your cell phone, turn off the television and music and actually write out all of the answers instead of mentally quizzing yourself.
Also, be sure to use questions from the College Board, since they manage and administer the SAT questions.
Working and practicing under test day conditions will decrease any nerves that will come about on the test day because you will be used to working within that environment.
Your system will likely feel more comfortable within the quiet environment and you’ll feel more at ease with your surroundings.
2. Enhance Your Vocabulary
Developing your vocabulary skills has multiple benefits when it comes to answering SAT questions.
An augmented vocabulary will aid in answering the passage/reading questions correctly, along with helping you better express yourself within the essay portion of the exam.
3. Size Matters
Studies have found that longer SAT essay answers actually receive higher scores. That, of course, is easier said than done. It’s quite difficult to thoughtfully fill several pages in 25 minutes or less, with examples, opinions and insights to boot.
The best way to prepare is to choose several topics in advance and develop an understanding of each in depth. That way, you’ll have examples and references at your fingertips. For example, classic books, historical and current events.
You’re able to do this because the SAT essay questions are all general topics and, if you develop several in advance, you’ll certainly be able to apply at least one of them to your essay topic.
That way, you’ll spend less time worrying about what you’re going to write about and more time actually writing about it.
4. No Cramming!
Give yourself enough time to prepare. Cramming is not an option! You may be able to cram in studying for other tests, but you need to set aside at least eight weeks test prep time to study adequately.
Ensure that the exam day you sign up for is far enough away that you’ll have enough time to prepare; keeping in mind that you may have other commitments, like regular high school classes and extracurricular activities.
5. Be Healthy
While illness may be unavoidable in some cases, there are often preventable measures that can be taken to ensure you are healthy when exam day arrives.
As the test date approaches, try to make sure you’re on a regular sleep cycle and you’re getting enough sleep each night.
In addition, make sure you’re eating balanced meals, taking care to eat brain-friendly foods like soy or other nuts, vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, peppers or cherry tomatoes and hydrate yourself with a lot of water regularly.
Consuming these foods will help you stay healthy, focused and energized in addition to improving your concentration and comprehension for studying beforehand and when exam time rolls around.
Exercise is also an important factor in remaining healthy. It’s important to expel any toxins from your system, in addition to releasing any nervous energy you may be harboring. Walking, running or taking a yoga class at the local gym or center are all great ways to keep you relaxed and focused at the task on hand.
What are some other SAT study strategies you’ve found helpful?
Need money to pay for college?
Every semester, Fastweb helps thousands of students pay for school by matching them to scholarships, grants and awards for which they actually qualify. Sign up today to get started. You'll find scholarships like the $2,000 "No Essay" Scholarship from Niche, a scholarship open to all U.S. students and those planning on enrolling within 12 months.