Your Simple Study Guide to the SAT

There are only three more SAT test dates remaining for 2014! Be sure to visit www.collegeboard.org to register and review your resources in your student account. The upcoming dates are as follows:

  • Saturday, October 11
  • Saturday, November 8
  • Saturday, December 6

With only a few months to prepare, you will want to follow some general guidelines before you take test. Here are some basics to consider as you prepare for the SAT.

BASELINE SCORE. Within your College Board student account, take an official SAT practice test to get your baseline score. You will want to see where you need to focus and once you know your strengths and challenges, purchase the SAT 2400 book and start reviewing test taking strategies.

CONSISTENT SCHEDULE. Plan to study a minimum of 30 minutes per day, 4 days per week. Begin with your weakest subject and carve out a specific time daily to devote to your studies. Memorize two vocabulary words per day (minimum) and do the College Board’s SAT Question of the Day. Set up reasonable goals so that you can chip away at your weaknesses. Gauge yourself by doing practice problems to monitor your improvement. Frequently reviewing in small doses will maximize your memorization and help you to progress quickly.

PREP LOCATION. It is critical that you can concentrate so you don’t passively learn test taking strategies. Study in a quiet location with plenty of workspace – coffee shop, library, or school. It is beneficial to be away from home so you don’t get distracted. This includes the virtual world as well – set aside your iPhone so that Facebook, Twitter, and texting don’t pull you away from precious study time.

MOVE, STUDY, SLEEP. Your mind needs clarity and physical activity to function at peak performance. Embrace a healthy lifestyle; go outside and get moving. Opt for the salad instead of the steak. If you’ve been studying at the same table at Starbucks, stand up and walk around. Movement and short breaks will help you study more efficiently. Don’t fall for “cramming” by drinking four cups of coffee the night before the test. Get a full 8 hours of sleep before taking the SAT; this will improve your well being and make you more effective on the test.

PRACTICE POSITIVITY. Set aside time to prepare yourself psychologically for the SAT. The power of positive thinking has been proven over and over again to work wonders when it comes to stress and test anxiety. Through optimistic self-talk, you can overcome the challenge of the exam and look at the situation as an opportunity. Take on the SAT with a positive mentality and you will handle the reading, writing, and math sections calmly and coherently.

Still need to take the SAT? We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Shay Davis

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