SAT Tactics to Use on Test Day

You take the SAT with the goal of getting the highest score so you can use that score to get into the college you want to get into. Up until this point, you have most likely learned the section directions so you can save time and dedicate more of that time toward answering questions. You may also know that it is important to answer the easy questions first so you know how much time you have to answer the difficult questions. You may even have a guessing strategy.

sat tacticsSome other test tactics that you can use include:

  • Doing your scratch work on the test book
  • Knowing that the easy questions usually come before the hard ones
  • Skipping the ones you absolutely do not know or cannot effectively guess on
  • Bringing a watch with you since each section is timed
  • Knowing that there are 19 sentence completion, 35 math problems, 40 reading comprehension questions, and 10-student produced responses
  • Not changing an answer unless you are certain you made a mistake

Devise Section-Specific Tactics

You can also create section-specific tactics that will help you deal with each individual section successfully. Here are some tactics you can use in each section:

  • Sentence completion – Try to complete the sentence with your own words
  • All sections – Do not rush by considering all answers
  • Sentence completion – Pay close attention to the reverse effect of negative prefixes or words
  • Sentence completion – Let transition words help you find the best answer
  • Critical reading – The first and last sentences of every paragraph are important
  • Critical reading – Answer questions on familiar topics first
  • Writing – Write an intro paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph
  • Writing – Keep it simple by not being too wordy and don’t use slang
  • Math – Negative numbers are not possible in the student produced response section
  • Math – If the answer is a repeating decimal, enter as many decimals as possible in the grid
  • Math – Do not enter mixed numbers (3 ½ should be 3.5)
  • Math – Learn critical definitions, concepts, and formulas before the test
  • Math – The earlier questions in the multiple choice section are easier than the later questions

You can use these tactics and any others that you have learned or devised on your own. By familiarizing yourself with the test beforehand and creating a strategy, you can get that high test score you need. It is going into the test blind that can have a negative impact on your score.

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