Landing admission in your dream university is a fantastic idea, and realizing that idea in real-life makes it incredible. However, the journey to securing admission is nerve-racking and laborious, especially if you are looking forward to studying in a reputed, well-acclaimed university. One way to grab a seat in your top choice is writing and excelling in SAT.
SAT, the acronym for the formidable Scholastic Assessment Test, is a standard test conducted in the United States of America and a few other countries. It is essentially a multiple-choice question test that tests high school students to determine their preparedness for a major academic change in their life. In addition, a good score in SAT can provide you with many options for financial assistance.
That being said, SAT is not a piece of cake. While hard work is the key to success, smart studying makes things easier and lets you learn quicker and better. In this article, I have jotted down 5 pointers that can really ease the whole preparation process.
- Start with the format of the test
I have seen this among many students that they do not analyze the format of the admission test. With that kind of attitude, you might end up being at the receiving end of failure. So, the first thing you must do is to familiarise yourself with the format. The SAT is divided into sections, namely Evidence-based Reading and Writing and Mathematics. Analyze the previous years’ question papers to understand what kind of questions are mostly and seldom asked so that you know which area needs more of your attention.
- Take up Mocks to Identify your Weaknesses and Strengths
This is a very basic tip, but mind you, it is the ultimate one. Identification of your strengths and weaknesses establishes a clearer picture of where you stand. The best way to evaluate is to try the previous years’ question papers or mock papers. Evaluate them and identify where you outperform and underperform. Knowing that you will be able to create a timetable or have a direction to follow so far as study planning is concerned.
- Know The Ideal Score for your dream University
Here is a thing about SAT: there are no minimum qualifying scores. The scores fall within the range of 400 and 1600, but you have to find out what minimum score for admission is accepted in your dream university. Every university will set a different score range for its admission process and you must be clear about it before you get on to preparing. For example, Princeton University generally accepts SAT scores between 750-800 (Maths) and 710-770 (Evidence-based Reading and Writing). Stanford, on the other hand, accepts scores between 700-800 (Maths) and 680-780 (Evidence-based Reading and Writing).
- Make Mock tests Your Best Friend
The job of mock tests does not end with the evaluation of your skill. Mock tests are an amazing help for many reasons: they acquaint you with a diversity of questions, provide you with a simulated test condition to mentally prepare yourself, help you train your time management skills, and familiarise you with the format of the test. In fact, the more you practice with mock tests, the better you will get. While practicing, make sure you focus more on wrong answers rather than the right answers. Learn the art of eliminating wrong answers, and this often helps in scoring in those questions whose answers you are not 100 percent sure about. Revise these mock tests in the final few weeks before the main test.
- Test Date
You must pick a convenient date for the test. Do not overestimate your capabilities and pick a date that is too close or provides little time for adequate preparation. It is advisable that there should be a buffer time of at least a few months before you take the test. Also, consider the time when you will not be occupied with other commitments that can affect your performance. Note that SAT is offered seven times a year, which means you have good enough options to choose from. Assess your performance, determine how much more time you require to overcome your weak areas, and when you should be able to write the test with a freer mind.