Top Ten SAT Test Taking Tips
Proper training, preparation and common sense are all paramount for a successful test day and a successful test score. That aside, here are few good tips to take with you on your test day.
- Bring the proper supplies. Bring a bottle of water, a pencil sharpener or extra lead for mechanical pencils and bring an approved calculator. Be sure to shop or find these items early on and have them ready the night before the test day.
- Know all of the instructions before stepping foot into the test room. Don’t waste valuable time by reading these instructions on the test day. Your best bet is to familiarize yourself with them very well so that you area ready to go once the clock starts.
- Use your test booklet as scratch paper. There is no need to keep this booklet neat and clean as no one will read it afterwards anyway. Use the booklet to help work through a problem or to mark a particular question for review later on.
- Be very careful when bubbling in your answers. The answer sheet can do a number on your eyes after a while and it can be easy to bubble in a “D” for number 11 when it was meant for number 12. Be sure you bubble in the correct answer for the given questions. Otherwise one misstep can throw off your whole test.
- Be mindful of each question. It’s easy to go too quickly and make careless mistakes. Don’t overlook the heart of a question, or not take in each answer possibility. You must move through the test quickly, but the key is finding a balance between a quick pace and recklessness.
- Answer the easier questions first. If you come across a hard one, skip it and come back to it later. Time is of the essence, so be sure to tackle questions you know you can get right first. If you find yourself working on a question for more than 90 seconds, move on to the next. Come back to it at the end.
- Don’t rush, but don’t waste time. Though you know that you can’t afford to waste time you also want to be accurate on the SAT. Be sure to focus and read each question thoroughly before attempting to answer. After reading the question, review the multiple-choice questions if applicable, and then make your choice. If you can’t decide what to do on a question, mark it as something to come back to. It’s best to keep moving, you can always return to that question later. If you find yourself skimming through the questions to fast, take a step back and refocus.
- Have confidence! Don’t assume a question may be too difficult to answer. Be sure to read each question and think about the answer before determining that you need to guess or skip that question. Have a “CEO’s” mentality; leave your emotions at the classroom door and go in with focused confidence.
- Know when to guess. On more difficult questions, try to eliminate as many wrong answers as possible before making a guess. Remember that you are penalized only ¼ point for an incorrect question. You receive 1 point for a correct answer, and 0 for a skipped answer.
- Breathe. Bring a sense of perspective to this test. Yes, the SAT is an important test, and you should concentrate to do well, but keep in mind that this is only a test. Remembering this throughout your test day may even help you to relax, in turn help you do better over all.