Here’s What Students Need to Do to Prepare for the SAT This December
The December SAT is a month away, and whether it’s your first time taking the SAT or you’re looking to improve your score, there’s a lot that you can do in the month leading up to the exam in order to reach your goal score.
It’s important to have a solid test prep plan when preparing for the SAT or ACT, and these tips below will help you to prep and feel more confident on test day.
Continue Taking Practice Tests
Hopefully at this point you’ve already taken a diagnostic of the SAT in order to get a better feel for the format and timing of the exam and to understand where you stand with your test prep. If not, you need to do so ASAP! Then, as you progress through your test prep plan, continue to take practice tests in order to gauge your improvements and see where you still need to do some work. When looking at the scores of your practice tests, focus on the details, not the overall score, in order to find the areas for greatest improvement. Instead of saying, “I need to bring up my math score,” take a look at the specific types of math questions that you answered incorrectly. Are you strong on fractions but struggle with circles? Do you need a refresher on exponent rules? Make the most of your preparation by targeting the areas that give you the most difficulty, rather than spending time on the parts of the exam that you’re already comfortable with.
Set a Goal Score
It’s important to have an idea of what kind of score you’re actually aiming for. When setting goal scores, you’ll need to be realistic! With some focused preparation, students should see improvements to their scores, but if your desired score is far higher than your diagnostic score, you may need to adjust your goals accordingly. Research your top colleges for information on what kinds of scores admitted students typically received on the SAT to get an idea of what scores you should be trying to achieve. A counselor can help you to determine how your scores stack up against those of other admitted students at your top schools and what that means for your chances at admission.
Make Time for Test Prep
Between final exams, extracurriculars, and holiday plans, November and December are a busy time of year for most students! It’s easy to put test prep on the back burner while you deal with other responsibilities. It’s important to identify areas in your schedule that you can dedicate exclusively to test prep. Always have some free time on Thursday and Saturday afternoons? Build structured study time into your calendar to ensure that you’re not neglecting your SAT prep. Tell your friends and family when your designated test prep time is, so they can hold you accountable!
Ask for Help
If you feel that you need tutoring to help boost your SAT score, don’t wait until the last minute to seek help. Find a tutor right away to ensure that you have time to work through the difficult topics and practice strategies for test day. Exam day shouldn’t be the first time that you’re trying out a new math strategy or experimenting with the order of the reading sections. A tutor can help you identify the questions you’ll find on the SAT and provide you with the tools you need to tackle them.
Get Ready for Test Day
Make sure that you have everything that you need for test day well in advance, including an approved calculator with fresh batteries. If you’re not sure if your calculator is approved, you can check here. Be wary of your internal clock as well. The SAT is administered early on Saturday morning, so practice waking up at the same time every day in the week before the exam! Don’t spend the days leading up to the test trying to cram - you don’t want to get burnt out. On the morning of the test, eat a good breakfast, do a couple of practice questions to get your brain warmed up, and leave yourself plenty of time to get to your testing center.
Good luck to those taking the December SAT! Remember, don’t sit for the exam unless you’re absolutely prepared! If you need additional assistance preparing for the SAT, contact us today to learn more about our test prep services.