5 SAT Study Tips to Prepare for The Big Day


Whether you like it or not, SATs are here to stay. Studies show that most competitive colleges–the Harvards, MITs, and Stanfords of the world–prioritize students with high SAT scores when screening for applicants. Scores can give schools a rough idea of a student’s academic abilities as well as his/her respective strengths and weaknesses.

Over a million students take the SATs each year. For many (especially those in need of scholarships), the test is a ticket to a good education and, many times, a brighter future. The higher you score on your SATs, the better your chances are when applying for a big-name college or a lucrative degree program.

However, scoring high on your SATs is easier said than done. The test tackles nearly every academic subject matter and has very challenging time limits. That said, you don’t actually need to be a “genius” to do well. According to TestPrepPlace, with a little preparation and some hard work, you can ace your SATs. And if you come from Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan or Iowa you’re all but guaranteed to get a high SAT score according to The 2016 SAT Report on College & Career Readiness College Board.

SAT Scores By State 2016

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Regardless of where you live, what matters most is how well you prepare for your exam.

You can see a visual representation of how well students in each state do on their SAT’s, based on the new 1600 score scale, in the accompanying Map. Whether you live in a state that does generally well, or one that doesn’t, how you prepare is key.

Here are 5 awesome tips to prepare you for the big test:

1. Don’t Cram

Cramming is never a good idea. Whether it’s homework, a school project, your SATs, or anything else, you are much better off preparing beforehand. Reviewing for your exam months before allows you to pace yourself and take each lesson in stride. Not only that, it will allow you to allot as much time as you need for each subject matter.

By preparing early, you’ll be able to prepare yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally for the big test. You know what they say: “success is where preparation and opportunity meet”.

2. Get Some Rest The Night Before The Exam

The great Sun Tzu once said, “every battle is won before it is ever fought”. Which, in the context of SATs, can mean that your score will depend on how well you prepare.

The night before the exam is all about preparation and visualization. Calm your nerves and visualize yourself doing well. Sleep early and stay away from electronic devices. Put your mind at ease and stay “in the zone” for your big day. Remember: no distractions.

3. Organize Your Stuff

As soon as you wake up, you should be good to go. There’s no room for finding stuff and stressing about whether everything is where it’s supposed to be. Pack all your pencils, erasers, snacks, and whatever else you need to bring the day before. Promptly relax and breathe as you head to your test.

4. Leave No Stone (Or Question) Unturned

Even if you’re well-prepared, the SATs can be a nerve wracking experience regardless. It’s quite normal to miss questions and experience mental block. In the event where you aren’t sure of your answer, go with your best guess. SATs do not penalize mistakes, so there’s nothing to lose with a lucky guess. Make sure before you turn in your papers, every single circle is shaded.

Are you nervous for your SATs? Don’t fret. Just make sure you prepare to the best of your abilities. More often than not, good preparation pays off!