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How to Prepare for the Sat

It is totally different than the tests given by your high school teachers. Your high school teachers don’t have to be consistent with their testing styles or questions. But, the testing styles on the SAT must be standardized in order to make meaningful comparisons from year to year. Thus the questions, the format and the concepts must be consistent from year to year.

So, instead of studying for the SAT, you need to determine the concepts, discover the patterns, and develop strategies to conquer the SAT. But, you have a limited amount of time to develop your plan of attack. So, here is a plan for a quick SAT prep.

1. Get “The Official SAT Study Guide” by the College Board
This is the only study guide you need to buy. It is produced by the people who write the test and is the only guide that contains true SAT problems. Don’t waste your time or money on other testing guides.

2. Read and familiarize yourself with the directions
The directions on the study guide practice tests are the same as the directions on the real test. So, learn the directions ahead of time. If you already know the directions before the test, you can skip reading the directions and save lots of time.

3. Take a practice test, NOW
You are short on time and need to get started immediately. So, get two sharp pencils, your calculator, a timer and the answer sheets for the first test. Now, find a quiet location and take the test using the correct times. Try to make everything like it’s the real test. Don’t change anything unless you have modifications for the real test.

After taking the test use the score key to correct your answers and determine your score. The score isn’t important at this point but knowing how you did is.

4. Learn by correcting your mistakes
You need to thoroughly examine the first test and determine why you missed the problems that you missed. You need to do this for every problem that you missed so you can get familiar with the patterns that are used on the different sections. Yes, there are patterns and you need to find them.

5. Practice SAT problems every night
You can use the second and third tests as a source for homework problems. But, you must do at least one hour of SAT homework every day until test time. It’s best if you do a few math problems, a few writing problems and a few reading problems each night. Remember the quality of your practice will be determined by how much time you spend correcting your mistakes.

6. Take another practice test
A few days before the real testing day you need to take another practice test. Test four or five would work just fine for this purpose. Again use the official times and rules that will be used at the real test including any modifications you might have. Then score and correct the test to get the full benefit of a practice test.

7. Test day is here
The night before the test relax, eat a nutritious dinner and get to bed early. Then get up on time and dress comfortable but not to relaxed or sloppy. Be sure to have a good breakfast but stay away from fruit juices and foods high in refined sugar. If possible, balance your carbohydrates with protein.

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