Last Minute Study Tips for the SAT

#1 – Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Unfortunately, if you’re reading this, you’re probably already a little late. We’ll do our best to help you prepare for your test in the coming weeks, but we strongly urge you consider taking the test in the future. Next time plan for some serious study. In fact, if you have extra time in your application process, consider postponing this current test until you feel confident that you’re ready to take it!

#2 – Read the Test Directions… Now!

Never spend time reading the test directions at the testing center. They’re long, tedious, and will eat away at the time you have to solve questions. Read the directions now! You can download a free practice test at the College Board’s website to review the directions and general format. Instead of wasting your time on test day, take the time to know what you’re getting into ahead of time.

#3 – Gather Some Essay Ammunition

Soldiers do not go into battle with empty guns, so don’t go into the SAT with an empty essay. Instead, choose two topics that you have researched in the past, such as a classic novel or a historical event. Reread your old materials and think about how each topic applies to multiple essay topics. For example, you can apply the Revolutionary War to almost any theme: perseverance, independence, success, failure, motivation, honesty, etc. The more you know about a topic, the more you can write. This translate to a higher score.

#4 – Understand Math Formulas

While the SAT provides you with all of the geometric formulas you need, you need to know what each formula does. The top test takers memorize those formulas and any other formulas and relationships the test requires. These formulas are on our website: Math Flash Cards. These introduce you to most of the content the SAT assesses.

#5 – Know Common Grammatical Error Indicators

The SAT multiple choice Writing sections test about 20 grammatical errors. If you know what to watch for, you can spot these errors quickly. We list them for you in our Writing Flash Cards.

#6 – Brush Up on Basic Vocab

If you’re studying last minute, you don’t have the time to study a 3500-word vocabulary list. Instead, focus on the ones that appear on the test most often. Our Top 200 Repeat Offenders list is the best resource.  Throw out the words you know and concentrate on learning the ones you do not. You will see many of the words in this list on your test.

#7 – Read a Classic Novel

Students who read classic novels the week before their SAT report being more ready for SAT vocab and reading comp passages. So, when you’re looking for a break in studying, pick up a classic. This is not just a tip for last-minute studying, either. Those of you preparing in advance can also benefit from reading the classics. 

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