The SAT can feel daunting, but is doesn’t have to. With a few test taking tips, you can feel confident about taking the SAT. The first thing you need to know is that the SAT is not a trick or a trap. Many people claim that the SAT is trying to trip you up. It is not. It is testing your critical thinking skills. These are skills you will need to perform well in college and in your career. Take time to develop these critical thinking skills and it will be time well spent. You will no longer be looking for tricks or traps, simply the right answer.
Knowledge You Have
The next important thing you need to understand is that the SAT is testing material you should have encountered during your high school education. You should have already learned everything on the exam. To prepare for the exam you just need to review. You can approach the exam with confidence if you dutifully review the subjects presented on the test.
Reading comprehension is key to performing well on the test. You will need to read passages and synthesize information on nearly every part of the test. Not only do you need to read and understand, but you need to do it quickly. Practice staying focused through lengthy passages. When you have improved your focus you won’t have to go back and read passages again, wasting time. The only way to improve this skill is to read and read some more. The test will include a wide variety of styles and genres, so the broader your practice is, the easier it will be to understand passages on the exam.
The Odds are In Your Favor
Think positively about multiple choice. The answer is given to you right there on the exam. You have a one in four chance of getting the right one, even if you didn’t have any prior knowledge. The good news is that you do have prior knowledge! If you don’t know the answer outright, you can probably eliminate at least one choice. You can also work backwards and try the most likely answer within the problem to see if it makes sense.
Remember that “All of the above” and “None of the above” are viable answer choices. Sometimes the exam will use the phrase “the best answer,” or “best choice,” this will usually indicate only one answer. It may also indicate that more than one choice may be correct but there is a clear “best.”
Confidence is one of the best test taking skills you can have. There are always tricks about how to guess the right choice, but you won’t need to guess because you will know. Think positively. The test is there to help you develop important skills and test knowledge you already have. It is a fun challenge that improves your focus and stamina. Thinking about the test in a positive light instead of a negative one is one of the best test taking tips you can have up your sleeve.