After months of studying and attending SAT test prep courses, very few students feel confident that they are ready to take the test. So much emphasis is put on taking and doing well on the SAT that many students become stressed during the weeks leading up to the test date. When preparing for the SAT, there are some things to keep in mind.
Organization and Scoring
The test is organized into three separate categories with each category worth a total of 800 points. They are Critical Reading, Writing and Math. 10 sections make up the test with most of the sections allowing 25 minutes to take the test for a total of 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Each section of the test is curved differently. The reading portion of the SAT tops the curve. When a student misses a few questions in these sections, they can still earn 700 or more points in that section.
Second and Third Chances
The good thing about the SAT is that it is not and all or nothing test. Many students take the SAT more than once. The SAT board will only report the student’s highest score in each category to the colleges the student selects. Many students consider the first test a practice test to get a feel for the test and look for areas of improvement. Of course, students will have to pay the test fee each time they take it, but they have the opportunity to improve their scores with each test.
Know the Score
Students should research the colleges they want to attend and find out what the average SAT is for incoming freshmen. By knowing the average scores of the colleges they are interest in, they can strive to score much better in each category than the average scores to improve their chances of an offer of admission. If the college has very high scores, students may want to invest in a SAT test prep course to get better scores.
The SAT offers a variety of subject tests from math and history to literature and science. These tests are smaller versions of the main test, except concentrated in the one area. Some colleges recommend that students take a couple of subject tests, while others require it. Even if the college does not require subject tests, taking one or two subjects allow students to show prospective colleges that they know where they excel and receive outstanding scores.