Before you go on to the SAT Study Material and the Questions (using the Links on
this page), here are a few common Pitfalls to avoid and Basic Strategies that will
help you get a higher SAT score.
- All Questions are NOT equal
The questions on the SAT generally get tougher towards the end of a section.(Only
in the Math and Sentence Completion section)
Though all questions have equal marks, you can easily spend double the time or
more on a tough question.
It is best to answer the easy questions first and come back to the tough ones later.
- The obvious answer is the Wrong Answer
There is a catch here. While the obvious answer is indeed the Correct one in the
beginning of a section, towards the end, the obvious answer (the one you can guess
without spending much time on), is likely to be the wrong one, so be careful.
- Guess if you can eliminate at least ONE answer
Do NOT become emotionally involved with any question. Even if you think the
questions is outrageously difficult or outright incorrect. Just try to eliminate at least
one answer, guess and move on.
- Know that time can be your biggest enemy
Certain questions by their very nature take more time to answer. The first step to
better time management is to recognize these questions.
While doing your practice tests, try to become more aware of how much time you
have taken to answer a question. You will soon begin to develop an Internal Clock
that will help you meet the pacing requirements of the SAT and reduce test anxiety.
- Compare & Discard
This is immensely useful for the Critical Reading section of the SAT Exam. While
there may be a 'Perfect' answer to a question, it may not appear as one of the
What you need to do is compare the different answer choices and choose the best
one available. In fact you can usually zero down on two choices and discard the ones
that are distinctly different from these two.
- Use Short cuts Only when necessary
As I have explained in detail in my book 'Ways of the SAT Winners', it is
extremely important to be aware of all the possible shortcuts that are available to
- Analyze your Strengths & Weaknesses and create a study plan unique to
The important thing here is to stick to your study plan.
- PLAN YOUR ESSAY
Take three to five minutes to think before you write. Pick a direction and stick to it,
Write for 20 to 25 minutes-and say something meaningful & coherent Use your last
few minutes to proofread your work. Also, be sure to write neatly. If the essay scorers
can't read your essay, they can't score it,
Graders have just a few minutes to score each essay. Make their job easy. Indent
your paragraphs deeply and follow established essay-writing procedures. Set up
your theme in an introductory paragraph. Include a couple of paragraphs with
examples that back up your position. Finally, wrap up with a conclusion. Also,
Villanova suggests, "use plenty of college-appropriate 'wow' words-even when short,
easy words will do."
- Managing Test Anxiety
More than anything else, the SAT is an test of your nerves. There are hundreds of
brilliant students who score MUCH lower in the SAT than they do in their practice
tests. It is important to manage your test anxiety. You can try using techniques like
'Thought Stopping', 'Self-Talk' and 'Visualization.
I have detailed out these and other advanced strategies for getting a score of 2200+
in the ebook Ways of the SAT Winners.
Learn how SAT Winners Improve their Reading skills here.
Get some practice solving typical 'End-of-the-section' tough Math questions
Brush up your Grammar in our Special SAT Grammar Section.
Click here to read how Joe got a 2340 Score.
Of course, you cannot forget the all important 'Vocabulary' section.
This section does NOT give you thousands of 'dry' words with meaning.
It provides you with the 1100 Most Important SAT Words, and clear illustrates their usage in
When you sign up to our
newsletter, you will get regular
Tips & guidance to ace the SAT,
How NOT to study for the SAT
(We value your privacy, and will not lend,
sell or give away your email address.)
Enter your name & Email and hit GO!