How to Power Through Your SATs with These Essential Hacks and Tips

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The SATs are like a right of passage for young students looking to make their way in the world. They are often a set of tests that will confuse, confound, and stress people out and they can be a huge pain to study for. But, you can get ahead with these SAT hacks.

Essential SAT Hacks

So if you want to improve your SAT score this year and get the best possible score on your test, here are some of the best ways to study successfully this year. 

Process of elimination 

Facing a set of multiple choice answers to a question is always hard, and it is something that can stop you in your tracks and make you a little overwhelmed. However, before you freeze and are unable to deal with the question at all, remember this simple rule: eliminate the wrong answers FIRST.

If you don’t know the answer to a question on face value, it is a good idea for you to eliminate the wrong answers first and leave yourself with a few options which could be correct. This immediately narrows down the pool for you and will likely help you to focus on the question and work out which of the remaining answers fits. 

Understand your mistakes 

When practicing for a big test you will often be so involved in making sure that you answer questions correctly every time that you forget to go back and look at the mistakes you have made. Mistakes usually fall into a few different categories such as content, error, misunderstanding the question or time pressure.

When you take a practice test in real-time it is important for you to go back afterward and look into the questions you got wrong. Maybe it was a silly mistake, maybe you didn’t understand the question, or maybe you missed a step in an equation. It is always important to go and understand what mistakes have been made and how you can fix them. This will ensure that you don’t make the same silly mistakes again when you are in the real test.

Read the question twice 

When taking your SAT test, you will often come across questions that are there to trip you up and make sure you understand the subject matter. At times, this can be difficult because when you are rushing through a test a tough question can stop you in your tracks and ruin your momentum.

However, in order to make sure you don’t make a silly mistake, go back and read the question again. Make sure that you understand the context of the question and what it is asking you to tell them or solve.

Use Find the Evidence Questions to Your Advantage

SAT exams now have a type of question that asks you to read a passage and then pick out a choice from your answers which provides evidence for the answer to your PREVIOUS question.

In other words, you could have question 22 asking you what color the sky is, and question 23 will ask you to find the excerpt in a passage that best gives evidence as to why the sky is blue. It is a way to show that you know your stuff and you are not just blindly guessing, but it can be tough.

The good thing about these questions is that if you were stuck between two answers on question 22 if the sky is blue or green, you can use the excerpt in 23 to find evidence for one of those answers. If you find evidence, you can be sure that you answer both correctly. 

Read Passages Strategically

Reading passages for your test is something that can take up a lot of time and this can create issues for the rest of the test. It is important to read the passages in a clever way in order to save time but still gain the information you need.

For example one of the things you can do is go to the questions first because this will allow you to read small details from the passage in the question, and when you go to read the passage you will be able to quickly know what you are looking for.

Make yourself engage 

It can be difficult to make yourself engage with your passages, especially when they are about a boring subject. However, the best way to approach an exam and take in information for questions is to engage with your passage no matter what it is.

Imagine you are sitting down to read your favorite book, you want to immerse yourself in the passage no matter what it is and make sure that you take in all of the information. This is one of the best SAT hacks.

Answer the easy questions first 

When looking through a test and trying to get the best score you can, the logical thing for you to do is go through the exam and answer all of the easiest questions first for easy points. Don’t worry about taking an exam in chronological order, it is sometimes not realistic to do this and you might struggle with the questions and get stuck on one part of the exam for a long while.

Instead of this, make sure to answer the easy questions and skip the hard ones. Then you can go back through the exam and answer all of the difficult ones.

Start from the back 

Another trick when taking an exam is to start from the back and work your way to the front. It is common practice for the most complex questions to appear towards the end of the exam and the easier ones at the front.

If you have been revising before your exam, you are likely better off going for questions at the end of the exam first because it will ensure that the answers are fresh in your mind from revision and you are more likely to answer these questions correctly.

As you go through the exam, instead of the questions getting harder and harder, they will become easier, and this can be a huge help for those who struggle in an exam setting.

Work on your weaknesses first 

When studying for an exam, there are a lot of ways that you can prepare, including getting a San Diego SAT tutor. However, no matter if you get help or not, it is always a good idea to start with your weaknesses and nail down those tough concepts.

If you are struggling with a difficult concept, it is important not to procrastinate and leave it until later. You need to make sure that you grasp the most difficult concepts first and then later you can go back and refresh your memory on the easier stuff before the test. 

Underline the question 

Sometimes when reading a question on an exam paper, it can be incredibly difficult for you to pick out the key points you need to answer and explain. It is important for you to think about underlining the most important points of a question before you answer it and this will help you to focus your mind and answer every point correctly.

This is one of the best SAT hacks you need to know to succeed.

Memorize formulas 

The most important thing you should do when it comes to a maths test is to memorize the formulas and ensure that you are ready for any possible questions. It can be difficult to remember math formulas but it is important to take the time to do this because during your test you will need them.

The best way to really ingrained these formulas into your mind is to practice questions and solve problems with them. You can try to rely on learning a list but this is always a difficult thing to do and it usually doesn’t go to plan. 

Know grammar rules 

I before E except when your foreign neighbor Keith receives eight counterfeit beige sleighs from feisty caffeinated weightlifters. Knowing grammar rules is one of the best SAT hacks.

Grammar is important when it comes to your English test. Before you take your exam, it is crucial for you to learn and understand grammar rules and nail them down before your test.

A good way to understand grammar without ‘studying’ is to read books. Read the free book on the iBooks app every week and get to know the way words and sentences flow. This is an organic way to get used to the way grammar is used and it will help you a lot during the test.

Rest the night before

Another one of the best SAT hacks is to get enough sleep. It is difficult for you to resist studying the night before a test, but the best thing you can do in the evening before you take a test is to put the books away and do something else. When you have spent the last few weeks of your life studying for your exam, the last thing you want to do is cram your mind full of information the day before.

Your brain is like a computer. It needs time to process, file, and consolidate information. By resting the night before your test you will give your brain the time to refresh and organize the information you have given it. You can take a quick look at your notes in the morning just before the exam and away you go!

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