How to study for the SAT?
Before understanding how to study for the SAT, we first need to understand its roots and why it is conducted. Widely used in the US for admissions in college every year, the SAT is a standardized test that was first introduced back in 1926 by the College Board. Initially known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the test has witnessed several name changes over the years during its initiation. Its name was later changed to the Scholastic Assessment Test and then to SAT I: Reasoning Test and finally settling with SAT. The College Board, a non-profit organization from the US, is the sole administrator and developer of the SAT.
The SAT is an entrance test held to admit students in undergraduate schools with the primary aim of evaluating the student’s skills and abilities. This makes assessing a student quite easy based on their SAT Scores. When comparing applications from different students, admission faculties compare SAT scores, GPA of High School, interviews, extracurricular activities, and the submitted personal college application essays. Since several factors come into play when assessing students, the significance of the SAT scores varies depending on the college.
How to study for the SAT?
Studying for SAT is not tough. The blog will try to understand the several aspects of this admission test and how to study for the SAT.
- Read non-fiction books.
One might argue that the SAT has a huge emphasis on extensive reading. With five big paragraphs enriched with vocabulary and information, it is very common for students to be exhausted by the tedious reading and understanding of the text. To sharpen your skills, it is important to read non-fictional books since most schools and colleges focus on fictional works. But with your SAT, you are most likely to encounter non-fictional reading, and since it can be difficult to develop a habit overnight, it is important that you give yourself a good head start and start reading more non-fictional pieces.
- Do mental calculations.
The SAT involves two sections of mathematics, and one of the sections does not even allow the use of a calculator. Using a pencil to calculate on the page will also not be efficient since it will take more time. So, in order to better understand how to study for the SAT, you will have to be ready to do a lot of mental calculations. Sharpen your brain for faster mental calculations with the help of online tutorials. Perfecting mental maths will save you a lot of time during the test.
- Have impeccable grammar.
Almost 70 percent of the verbal section of the SAT is based on grammar. While many students focus highly on the comprehension section, there are some who aim for better scores with grammar. It is common for students to be overwhelmed with grammar, but it is actually one of the simplest things while answering how to study for the SAT. Most teachers will also encourage you to focus on your grammar. So, prepare your grammar well for a better SAT score.
- SAT preparation materials.
A simple google search of “how to study for the SAT?” will spew out tons of resources. While most of these links don’t provide quality materials, there are few trusted sources that you can always rely on. Unreliable materials often have no use and can negatively impact your chances in the SAT, and therefore it is advised to stick with only reliable sources. Some of the most well-known ebooks that can help you prepare for your SAT include
Kaplan SAT Subject Test Mathematics Level 1
- SAT 4000 words
- Guide to SAT Reading
- The Official SAT Study Guide
- Practice with mock test.
The SAT is divided into four distinct sections, which include Math, Reading, Writing, and Language. It is seen that most students have a completely wrong approach when trying to understand how to study for the SAT. Most of them focus on the sections rather than the test as a whole. For example, you might keep a few days to prepare the maths section and, in subsequent days, move on to the following sections. Several studies indicate this is a faulty method of preparation. It is important to focus on the sections altogether. Study maths for a few hours and move on to the next section. DO not keep a section separate for a day. Studying all the sections on the same day will help to mimic the actual test, and this will also train the brain to work in different areas altogether.
- Avoid mugging up.
Learning takes time. You cannot clear the test simply by starting your preparation a week or a month early. When you try to cram so much in a short time, you tend to get overwhelmed, and the information fades away from the brain within a few days. It is important to make proper enhancements in your study pattern if you are looking for effective learning. When learning how to study for the SAT, it is important for students to take it slow and understand the concepts rather than memorize them. There is no need to study for the entire day. Three to four hours of complete focus will do wonders. Ensure to take small breaks in between, which will allow the information to sink in. Try time management strategies to manage your study time better.
- Identify your weaknesses.
No one is born perfect, and having flaws and weaknesses is only human. Likewise, every student will have some weak areas that they always struggle with. It is important to identify them when preparing for your SAT. Ensure to work on the weak areas and work harder to rectify them. It does take time to reach perfection, and it cannot be achieved overnight. Work on it patiently and see things turning up in your favor. The only way to eliminate weaknesses and convert them into strengths is with the help of continuous practice and perseverance.
- Working during the inactive hours.
While most of us go with family or friends, it is completely okay to wait for someone. Don’t waste your time waiting or traveling and ensure to read a book. Though this might not seem to be much productive, it will surely make a big difference in the actual outcome. Some of the following things you can do during your inactive hours include
- Review vocabulary from a dictionary or your phone.
- Quickly go through the previous chapters you have prepared.
- Practice mental maths.
- Try reading articles and blogs to develop a better reading habit.
The above tips answer the question of how to study for the SAT. Follow them all for a better result. Keep in mind that you will have to work hard to get admission to your desired college, and it will not happen if you are not willing to step outside of your comfort zone.
Important things to know about the SAT
- It is a three-hour-long pencil paper test.
- The SAT consists of four sections, namely, Reading, Writing, Language, and Maths.
- Another section consists of essay writing, an optional section making the test 3 hours 50 minutes long. This section is sometimes preferred by colleges while assessing students.
- collgeboard.org is the official website for the SAT.
- The ETS or the Educational Testing Service administers the SAT.
- Mode of writing exam: Paper and pencil.
- There are over 25,000 global exam centres for the SAT.
- SAT helpline numbers: 866-756-7346 (Domestic), 212-713-7789(International)
- The registration can be done by online and offline methods.
- The exam fee is $49.50 while the test with the essay is $64.50
- Anyone over the age of 12 can sit for the SAT since there are no eligibility criteria.
- Students below the 8th standard don’t have to put a photo in their registration forms.
How many times are the SATs conducted a year in India?
Usually conducted in March, May, August, October, and December, the SAT is conducted five times a year in India.
How difficult is SAT?
When figuring out how to study for the SAT, you might be asking yourself if SAT is difficult to crack. While the answer is yes, with practice and perseverance, you too can get excellent SAT scores.
Do IITs in India accept SATs?
While the SAT is useful for admission in undergraduate colleges in the US, SATs are not acceptable for admission in IITs in India and require a JEE (Advanced) score to be considered for admission.