No matter which situation you’re in, there are a few easy things you can do to maximize your score.
1. Give Yourself Time
When you start studying is entirely up to you. And it’s been shown, time and time again, the sooner you start studying, the better you’ll do. It’s a self-evident truth – but it’s only further reinforced by studies that show the same thing.
Not only can you goose your score an extra 50 or 100 points by getting ready earlier… but the study itself will be easier as well. You see, while you will be spending more hours getting ready, the most powerful part of starting study early isn’t the extra time as much as the chance for your mind to process everything. In other words, you’ll remember more of what you cover –without the stress of “cramming.”
Nothing – absolutely nothing – will give you as big a leg up as practice tests.
With practice, you’ll memorize the test instructions, so you won’t have to spend time figuring out what you’re being asked in each section. With practice, you’ll get a better feel for the questions you’ll see, and the types of thinking you’ll need to apply. And, of course, with practice, you’ll learn your weakest areas, and hence have an opportunity to focus your study where it will do the most good.
3. A Word A Day
Hopefully, you already know a good number of the SAT vocabulary words. That said, very few people know enough to feel confident without study – and, as mentioned earlier, cramming a bunch of words at a time isn’t the best way to retain them.
If you start early enough, though, you can add a word a day without too much trouble, and cover most of the gaps in your knowledge. With only a word a day, you can really focus on it – go over the definition, use it three times in everyday conversation, and review it again before you go to sleep. Easy – and highly effective.
For many students, the hardest thing about the test is knowing you’re being tested.
Studies have shown that most people get “dumber” under test-like pressure – they miss questions with answers they know.
The solution? Learn how to relax your mind.
Studying early and taking many practice tests help here – the confidence you gain can make a big difference.
But there are plenty of other things you can do as well. Practice various breathing techniques – anything from counting to ten to full-on meditation. Calm yourself just before the test starts – and between any sections, if you have the time. Learn to recognize when your mind is tensing – and, as you notice it, do your best to relax your thinking.
5. Physically Prepare Yourself
This should go without saying – but before the test, get a good night’s rest. After all, nothing dulls the brain like lack of sleep.
Try to make your night-before meal a light, healthy one. Salmon, for example, is rich in brain-assisting fatty acids.
Of course you should have a good idea what will help your body work best – the key is, take appropriate measures to keep yourself healthy and alert so that you aren’t sidetracked by the stress and tension that often precede coincide with an SAT sitting.
Treat yourself right – and you’ll help yourself in the end.
Do you want to register to take the SAT’s? Click here.
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