Many students feel a good amount of stress the first time they take the SAT. Fortunately, you can minimize the amount of stress that the experience entails by preparing properly.
You want to focus on avoiding big test taking mistakes in order to optimize your performance when you first take the SATs. The following are six mistakes to avoid to get the best possible score.
Telling yourself this is your only opportunity
Remember that you can always take the SATs again if you are not happy with your score. Remembering this can help you to minimize the stress of the experience.
If you don't score as highly as you want to, you always have another chance. Statistics show that students typically increase their score by around 90 points when they retake the test.
Always looking for the right answer
You might slow yourself down if you focus on finding the right answer rather than eliminating the wrong answers. For some types of SAT questions, this is a better strategy. If you're not sure about the right answer, check the available responses and cross out any that you know are wrong.
Leaving answers blank
You're not penalized for wrong answers on the SAT exam. Therefore, you definitely don't want to be leaving anything blank. Make sure that you fill in all the answers. Even answering questions randomly is better than leaving them blank considering that you won't lose any points if you get the answer wrong.
Not keeping an eye on the time
Your time is limited when you take the SATs. This means that you want to move at a good pace when you're going through the questions.
At the same time, you should keep an eye on the time to make sure that you're not going faster than you have to and neglecting to give each question adequate consideration.
Wasting too much time on questions you're not sure on
If you see that a particular question is going to take you longer to finish, consider skipping it. You can come back to questions you've left blank after you take the rest of the test.
This way, you can get through all the questions you can answer quickly first and then go back. This will maximize your chances of completing as many questions as possible accurately before your time is up.
Not using the test booklet as scratch paper
Remember as you take the test that the test booklet is yours. It's often most practical and efficient to use the test book as scratch paper while you're figuring out the answers to the questions, so feel free to do so.
For more information on SAT prep, contact a local tutor.