Scoring high on the SAT requires laser-focus and preparation

Michael Guberti Teenager Entrepreneur and Weekly Motivator Teenager Entrepreneur

Studying for the SAT can be a gruesome ordeal without a blueprint. Should you study on your own, seek out a tutor, enroll in online classes, or take a prep class from a big name company? Perhaps you have committed yourself to one of these companies, but fail to complete assignments, starting and stopping your studies with frequency.

This lack of direction and consistency leads to aggravation; you begin to resent opening up the The Official SAT Study Guide. This frustration boils over into your studies, and then your psyche, at which point you find yourself educationally stagnated. This is a common epidemic among standardized-test takers. The absence of clarity prompts an abundance of irritation, a vicious cycle to endure. Symptoms include constant turnover of preparatory methods, increased aggravation, and lessening results. However, the remedy to this cyclical stagnation is greater understanding.

Size up your opponent: the SAT. You are going to learn what books to buy for test preparation, how to find extra time at the conclusion of each section to check over your answers, benefit from a certain section’s grading policies, and foster a persistent yet posed attitude to tackle the SAT. Let’s set sail on your victory voyage now.


Do practice in less time than normally allotted

Every section on the SAT is timed, so shave two to three minutes off of the normal time when you practice. For example, you are given 25 minutes to write the SAT essay, so write it in 22 minutes during your practice tests. You will condition your mind to think at a faster clip if you practice this method repeatedly. Having acquired the ability to write a quality essay in 22 minutes, you can automatically have time to check yourself over after writing the essay.

Do start practicing the summer before the test

The more familiar you are with a situation, the less potent it becomes. The SAT has one essay, two writing sections, three mathematics sections, three critical reading sections, and one variable (writing, math, or critical reading) section, for a total of 10 parts. However, the one variable section is not included in your practice tests. Hence, you only have nine sections per test when you practice, but ten during the actual test. This allows for an ideal test-taking strategy over a 30 day summer month. Once a day, you can complete one section in the SAT, which individually top out at 25 minutes. Over 30 days, you will have completed three full SAT practice tests, and upon completion of each one, take one day to check over your answers with the answer key found in The Official SAT Study Guide. Detailed answer descriptions can be found here

Do get the right prep book

Why stray from the source of the future questions? The Official SAT Study Guide contains past SAT tests, examples of score six out of six essay answers, and a thorough review of the mathematics topics the questions are formed around for you to browse. It is the optimal choice for a prep book.

Do anticipate the themes of the essay questions

As per Ivy Global, the major SAT essay topics are as follows:

  • Self Knowledge and Growth
  • Individual Choice
  • Happiness and Money
  • Memories and Learning from the Past
  • Rules vs. Freedom
  • Truth vs. Lies
  • Practical Knowledge vs. Theoretical Knowledge
  • The Individual vs. Society or Authority
  • Cooperation vs. Competition
  • Success vs. Failure

These topics form the teeth of most SAT essays. What historical and literary examples can you employ to demonstrate scholarly prowess while matching these themes? Bilbo Baggins, the main character in The Hobbit, learned to become a top spy from his encounters with trolls and gelling with the dwarfs to ensure survival, thereby fitting the mold for the themes Memories and Learning from the Past as well as Cooperation vs Competition.

Do ask your school teachers for help

This assertion is simply cost-benefit analysis. As a student, you have access to any teacher in your school. If one of your questions is consistent with the subject of a teacher, then they are inclined to help you understand it, if for no other reason than to uphold the traditional student-teacher relationship. Comparatively speaking, the process of seeking out a teacher is dramatically less expensive than hiring a tutor to perform the same function. Hence, if you can not afford to pay the sticker price for tutors, seek out school district teachers to assist in your SAT preparation.


Do not wait until the last minute

Waiting until the last hour of the last day to study results in inordinate amounts of stress. This stress is unhealthy and unproductive. Think of any task that you have ever been assigned to do. If you had an extra year to perform such task, would your stress levels decrease? Yes. Would you be able to fine-tune your project? Yes. You do not need stress, you need accountability.

Do not start studying without a study calendar

Accountability is the force that drives people to get things done. However, if there is no overarching influence prompting you to start your work, you will not accomplish certain tasks. If grades were not a factor in the education system, would all students work diligently to complete their homework? Your overarching force to get this prep work done will be your study calendar, and since no one knows your schedule better than you, you are its ideal creator.

Do not deviate from your study calendar

The accountability that a study calendar provides can be broken if you do not follow through. If you have ever made a promise to yourself or another person, and not kept it, a sentiment of emptiness may have engulfed you. Avoid that feeling; abide by your study calendar if only to show respect to yourself.

Do not lose your motivation

Your motivation to study will kindle your success. Do not let the flame die. Anyone can study for a day, anyone can study for a week. But those who study for months on end may garner the recognition of the ‘dream’ schools. So which do you prefer: commitment to action or the sting of regret? To stay inspired, keep a list of motivational quotes and sayings in your room. Read them over at the beginning and end of your study periods.

Do not reject the coming praise

When you study diligently and apply successful rules to master the SAT, praise can come in abundance. Accept it. Some students perform excellently on this standardized test, have religiously studied to do so, and put on the silent knight face when people congratulate them. Understand your accomplishments, and know that your drive to excel has elevated you amongst your peers. Smile, and be glad in your success.

Jumping cartoon

There are a litany of options with regard to studying for the SAT. A strong one is creating and abiding your study calendar. Because the responsibility to study and perform resides in the person it should—you—your destiny is in your hands. This is your chance to prove that you can prosper without some else’s assistance. Ironically, the SAT may be your first opportunity to prove that you can be proficient in academics on your own. The transition from child to captain has begun.

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Michael GubertiTeenager Entrepreneur and Weekly Motivator

Michael Guberti is an entrepreneur. His motivational and enthusiastic attributes are evident. He is a Ping Pong competitor, bowler, creative comic writer, P90X graduate, and MLB baseball fan. Michael practices mind-body healing connections th...

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