More than 1.7 million high school students took the SAT in 2022. The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) is a standardised college admission test used by most colleges and universities in the United States to assess a student’s readiness for higher education.
The SAT exam measures a student’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills in mathematics, reading, and writing. Sure, the SAT exam structure has been stripped down to two sections— Mathematics and Reading & Writing, but adequate preparation is still essential.
The total SAT exam duration is 2 hours and 14 minutes. The maximum score for the SAT is 1600, with 800 being the highest possible score for each of the two sections. SAT exam preparation can be a challenging and stressful experience for some, but for you, it doesn’t have to be. You can set yourself up for success on test day by avoiding common mistakes.
Here is a list of common mistakes to avoid and ensure the best way to prepare for SAT:
Not starting SAT preparation early enough
Last-minute studying is often less effective than studying over a more extended period, as it is easier to forget the material that is quickly learned. Starting early allows you to identify and address any areas of weakness in your skills, knowledge, or test-taking strategies. With adequate preparation time, you can make a study plan tailored to your needs and goals and ensure that you are ready for the test.
Technology has made SAT prep accessible to all with the convenience of online study. Whether you’re cramming for an upcoming test or simply need a refresher, there’s never been a better time to brush up on your college entrance exam skills. One of the best ways to prepare for SAT is by utilising online study tools and taking practice tests.
Not practising enough or regularly
“Practice makes a man perfect.” We all have heard it, but do we all apply it? Here are a few things that not practising leads to:
- Lack of familiarity with the format and content: If you do not practise regularly, you may not be familiar with the format and content of the test, leading to decreased performance in SAT exam preparation.
- Poor time management: Time management is essential while attempting questions and not missing out on any questions. Maintaining a firm grip on the clock is paramount in the entire SAT exam preparation process.
- Inadequate skills and knowledge: Not practising enough can result in a lack of reinforcement and improvement in your skills and knowledge, leading to decreased performance on the test.
- Increased stress and decreased confidence: Not practising enough can lead to increased stress and reduced confidence on test day, which can negatively impact your performance.
Preparing for the SAT can be incredibly practical in improving your test scores. Still, it’s important to remember that it involves more than just reading a few strategies and taking practice questions. To do SAT preparation correctly, you need to:
- Understand the types of questions you’ll be asked in each section
- Overview of the content you should focus on
- Ensure you have access to reliable materials
- Utilise a virtual tutor if you need one
Relying too heavily on memorisation
“Rote memorisation is a poor substitute for comprehension.” The SAT tests your knowledge and skills, not your ability to memorise facts. Relying too heavily on rote memorisation can limit your understanding of the material and prevent you from applying what you have learned to solve problems on the exam.
With no negative marking on the digital SAT exam, another best way to prepare for SAT is by recognising and mastering its core concepts. The goal is not to mug up SAT prep guides but to master complex concepts for optimal performance on the SAT exam.
Neglecting certain sections or content areas
The SAT tests your knowledge and skills in various areas, including maths, reading, writing, and language. Remembering certain sections or content areas can prevent you from missing out on valuable points that could make the difference between acing the exam and getting an average SAT score.
Neglecting certain sections or content areas can lead to poor performance because it leaves gaps in your knowledge and skills that the SAT exam is designed to measure. Additionally, it can prevent you from developing a comprehensive understanding of the material, leading to confusion on the test day.
Underestimating the importance of pacing and time management
Time is of the essence on the SAT exam. Since some questions are more difficult than others, you don’t want to spend too much time on a single question. Underestimating the importance of pacing and time management can lead to poor performance because it increases the likelihood that you will run out of time before completing all sections or parts of the SAT exam.
While preparing for the SAT exam, highlight key points and strategies to stay on track and manage your time effectively. Additionally, practising with timed tests or practice sections is a great way to improve your pacing skills and ensure that you are prepared for the actual exam.
SAT Online preparation without any direction
In this digital age, SAT prep online is rapidly gaining popularity as it can save time and money compared to the traditional classroom, which is often considered to be the best SAT prep method. But without experienced guidance from instructors or tutors, SAT prep online or offline can often feel like a lonely and confusing journey.
While the SAT prep materials on the internet may look appealing, students should be sure to understand the main structure of the exam, how different subjects interact with each other, and what areas need extra attention.
Without an experienced tutor who can assess your weaknesses and strengths and create a tailored SAT study plan, there is only so much that your SAT prep online can do alone. Finding that personalised guidance can often be worth its weight in gold, so don’t be afraid to seek the right mentor who can take you to the next level!
Not seeking help or additional resources when needed
If you have difficulty mastering the material or understanding certain concepts, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Seeking out additional resources, such as the best SAT study guides or listing out better ways SAT preparation, can make a big difference in taking the exam.
An SAT prep guide can provide valuable insight into tackling specific questions and help you achieve success on the exam. Not seeking help or additional resources when needed can lead to misunderstanding and confusion, which may negatively affect your performance on the test.
Don’t let silly mistakes and missteps hold you back from achieving top SAT scores – prepare smart! By avoiding common pitfalls like failing to review or practice enough, anyone can take their test day performance up a notch. Just remember: preparation is key – so do your homework ahead of time with confidence, knowing that success awaits you just around the corner!
Whether you’re looking for an intellectually charged classroom environment or the best SAT coaching online, we at Jamboree have a class for you! Book a free fifteen-minute session with our SAT expert and get started on your SAT preparation.