How to prepare for the SAT? Everything you want to know

How to prepare for the SAT? Everything you want to know

What is SAT? What should you look out for during your SAT test prep? How to prepare for the SAT efficiently? It is something that many students will worry about. This article will tell you all you need to know on how to prepare for the SAT.

What is the SAT test

SAT is the acronym for Scholastic Assessment Test. It is an academic assessment test, commonly known as the American college entrance examination. SAT scores are one of the most important indicators for undergraduate applications. The SAT is divided into SAT I, the SAT Reasoning Test, and SAT II, the SAT Subject Test. SAT I is a general ability test, including Evidence-based Reading, Writing, and Math, with 800 points for each part and a total score of 1600. Writing is an optional test item and is scored separately.

SAT II is a more advanced test. The content of the test is knowledge and skills in a subject or professional field. There are five items: English, History, Language, Mathematics and Science. College admissions offices often use SAT II scores to assess a student’s degree of expertise in a subject.

Who needs to take the SAT test

Generally, students who want to enroll in an undergraduate program in the United States are required to take the SAT. Although more and more U.S. universities are making SAT optional, previous records have shown that students who submit SAT with a high score are still favored. On the other hand, it is a requirement of some other U.S. universities that students submit their SAT scores as proof of academic ability.

How to prepare for the SAT? Generally, students need to take the Reasoning Test, and whether to take the Subject Test depends on the requirements of the school program and the individual situation of the student. The score a student can get largely depends on how much time is invested in the SAT test prep.

How to prepare for the SAT

This section will show you how to prepare for the SAT.

  • How many times can you take the SAT exam?

For most students, taking standardized tests multiple times can effectively improve test scores. This is because taking the test multiple times can effectively reduce the psychological pressure. If students do not get their ideal scores in the first exam, they can apply for the next one and take as many times as they want until they are satisfied with their scores. This also allows students to have more time to prepare for the SAT.

  • Practice regularly

Dedicate consistent study time to practice SAT questions and sections. Use official SAT practice tests to simulate the actual test conditions. This helps you become familiar with the question types, improve your timing, and identify areas for improvement. Analyze your mistakes and work on understanding the underlying concepts.

  • Build Vocabulary and Writing Skills:

Enhance your vocabulary by reading widely and focusing on challenging texts. This will not only help with the reading section but also improve your ability to comprehend complex passages. Practice writing coherent and well-structured essays to improve your writing skills.

  • Make a time plan

SAT test scores are valid for two years, and students only need to ensure that the scores are within the validity period when applying to schools. For most candidates, it is recommended to start preparing for the SAT about a year before college application, and take the SAT about half a year before college application. On the premise that the students are fully prepared, the exam time should be early rather than late.

If the first test score is satisfactory, you can devote your follow-up time and energy to preparing for other tests or writing your personal statement. If the test score is not satisfactory, you can also have enough time to take the second test. Generally speaking, the number of standardized test sessions in summer is relatively small, but at this time students will have a lot of free time due to the summer vacation. This situation makes the summer exam dates extremely sought-after.

SAT Subjects

The SAT assesses your skills and knowledge in reading, writing, and mathematics. The exam is designed to evaluate your readiness for college-level work in these general academic areas. Students need to know how to prepare for the SAT subjects and the content covered is not limited to specific subject areas but rather focuses on the application of skills across a range of topics and disciplines. The SAT primarily tests your knowledge and skills in the following subjects:

  • Evidence-Based Reading: This section assesses your reading comprehension skills through passages from various subjects, including literature, history, social sciences, and science. How to prepare for the SAT? It evaluates your ability to understand and analyze written material, make inferences, identify main ideas, and draw conclusions.
  • Writing and Language: This section evaluates your writing and editing skills. It presents passages with underlined portions or sections that require improvement. You’ll need to identify errors, improve sentence structure, and enhance the clarity and effectiveness of the writing. Questions may also test your understanding of grammar, usage, and punctuation.
  • Math (No Calculator): This section tests your mathematical skills without the use of a calculator. It covers topics such as algebra, geometry, data analysis, and advanced math concepts. The questions require problem-solving, reasoning, and application of mathematical concepts.
  • Math (Calculator): This section allows the use of a calculator to solve math problems. It assesses similar topics as the Math section without a calculator, but with the added advantage of using a calculator for calculations and problem-solving.

SAT Test Prep

Here is how to prepare for the SAT… Taking the SAT requires students to prepare well in advance. Students should look for a quiet and comfortable test preparation environment; on the other hand, students should choose suitable test preparation materials.

The SAT is a college board that provides candidates with a variety of materials to help prepare for the SAT and build English language skills. These materials include free sample questions, practice tests, interactive skill-building sessions, detailed answering techniques, and in-depth information on the exam.

Among all the materials, the official book is the SAT Official Guide (commonly referred to as OG). The College Board releases official SAT practice tests periodically. These tests are the closest you can get to the actual SAT exam. You can find them on the College Board website. You can find them in this link:

There are quite a few apps for practicing SAT exam questions – just do a Google search and you will find them. The mock exam software provides candidates with simulated exercises that are almost identical to the real exam, helping candidates better prepare for the exam.

For students, the learning process should be continuous. Students are busy with their school work, and it is understandable that they want to relax when summer holiday is approaching. But students should also understand that problem-solving skills, strategies, and test-taking knowledge points are best achieved through repeated, continuous practice. It is reasonable for students to take some days off for leisure activities, but they must not interrupt their studies for too long.

If students are applying for admission in the fall of 2023, the time to start studying the SAT test materials should ideally start in the spring of 2022 at the latest. This will give students sufficient time to practise over and over again. How to prepare for the SAT will largely depend on individual’s time and how dedicated students are. The above is a basic guideline that has worked for many students when they want to know how to prepare for the SAT.

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