As a high school student, you’ve got plenty on your plate. You’re likely consumed by classwork and social activities, and are preparing emotionally for one of the biggest transitions of your life. In addition to all that, however, there’s the SAT, which plays a major role in your ability to get into a good college. All too often, teenagers let the SAT take a back seat in favor of more immediate, day-to-day responsibilities, and one of the biggest reasons is that they simply don’t know how to attack such a daunting exam. Here are six general study habits that can help improve your SAT score.
1. Start Projects Early
Whenever you get a broader assignment or long-term project, do not put it off. Before you know it, the deadline is going to be a few days away and you’ve got to put something together in a frantic rush.
Instead, start early and take baby steps immediately after you get the assignment. Take it slow and steady to ensure that you don’t make any major mistakes or produce low-quality work. You learn a lot more when you take your time, and that knowledge can come in quite handy when it comes to taking the SAT.
2. Set a Study Schedule and Stick to It
Chances are, you know when you’re at your best mentally. Create your study schedule accordingly and stick to it. If you’re most pumped up right after school, schedule your heavy lifting for then. If you feel energized after supper, that’s when you should do your studying.
Once your schedule is in place, stick to it. Turn down those last-minute calls from friends to hit the mall, and avoid flipping on the TV or checking in on your social media pages. You’re going to have plenty of free time to spend with friends and family after you ace your SAT.
3. Find a Mentor
A mentor can be a great help with your study habits. Reach out to someone you know who recently graduated high school and understands what you’re going through, or use those social media accounts productively – you never know what kinds of recommendations you might receive. You could also ask your teachers if they know anyone who might make for a suitable mentor.
4. Take Appropriate Breaks
Breaks are an important part of effective studying. If you’ve been staring at your monitor for 20 minutes and you’re just not getting anywhere, walk around the block, go talk to your parents for a few minutes, or make a snack for yourself in the kitchen. And be sure to avoid all-nighters. You might think of them as a great way to get a lot done in a short period of time, but you just won’t end up retaining a lot of that information.
5. Choose a Quiet Place for Studying
Are you in the habit of trying to do your studying on an iPad while sitting in front of the TV? Are you constantly bothered by a brother or sister when working at the kitchen counter?
If so, find a quiet place to do your work instead. If your bedroom doesn’t work, choose a guest room. Maybe you could study in the living room if it’s a low-traffic area. Chances are, there’s a least one part of your home where you can concentrate with little to no interruption – you just have to find it.
6. Start With the Most Challenging Subject
If you’re good at math but are challenged in chemistry, take on the science project first. It’s a lot easier to squeeze in study time for a subject you’re comfortable with once the more difficult ones have been crossed off the list. Start with the subjects that tend to give you a hard time, then tackle the assignments you can complete quickly.
What ways can you think of for students taking the SAT to study more effectively?