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Things You Shouldn't Do When Preparing to Take the SAT

Studying Practice Exam
College-minded students should start preparing for the SAT exams many months before the test. The SAT or Suite of Assessments consists of a reading test, writing and language test, math test, and SAT essay. On the day of the exams, you'll need to bring a photo ID, pencils, a calculator, and a snack. As you prepare for the big test, avoid making these mistakes.

Don't Take Practice Tests Without Studying the Results

Practice tests are effective tools to help you prepare for the SAT exams — when you study the results. However, taking a practice test doesn't help you if you don't study the answers you get wrong. Instead, pay close attention to incorrect answers. Examine why you answered the way you did. Also, assess why the right answer is correct.

The SAT test is designed specifically to test what you learned in high school and what you will need to know to succeed in college. The more time and effort you put into studying your mistakes, the less you are likely to repeat them on the actual test. By looking at the type of questions and answers that are going to be on the test, you can feel more confident in your abilities.

Don't Put Off Taking the Test

Some students procrastinate when it comes to taking the SAT. They may feel that they'll do better with more time to prepare or may fear the results of the test. However, it's typically best for students to take the SAT test as soon as they are adequately prepared for it. If you put off taking the test for too long, then you may not be eligible for early admissions to some schools.

Don't Try to Guess on Tough Questions

If you don't know the answer to a question and won't be able to solve it with more time, then don't try to randomly choose one of the answers. Instead, try to eliminate the things you know aren't right. Then strategize and take an educated guess on what the right answer may be.

If you eliminate the things you know aren't right, then you have a better chance of selecting the right answer. For example, if you know that two answers aren't right, mentally cross them off the list. Then, look at the remaining answers to see which one makes more sense.

Don't Answer the Questions in Order

Many students answer all the questions on the SAT in the order that they appear. However, this strategy can be a big mistake that results in a significantly lower score. If you don't understand a question or it simply takes too long to answer it, then don't put a lot of time into trying to answer it. Instead, skip over it and come back to it after you have finished answering the easier questions.

Don't Limit Yourself to Only Taking the SAT Once

Go into the initial SAT with the goal of doing everything in your power to ace the test. However, if you don't get the score you want, then there's no shame in trying again. Retaking the test may be the best way to increase your odds of getting into your ideal school.

According to the College Board, which administers the SAT, most schools consider each student's best SAT score. Therefore, there is no harm in sending all your scores. Other colleges handle the SAT scores differently depending on their specific admissions policies. Some will want to see all your SAT scores, so it is important to work hard and prepare for each test.

Finally, empower yourself to do well on your SAT by putting the time, effort, and commitment into an SAT preparation program. Contact IQ Learning today for more information on our extensive SAT prep courses and tutoring services. Our caring team helps students improve their test scores.