5 Proven Ways to Increase the SAT Score | College Made Simple

Dear College Made Simple Reader,

There’s no shortage of tips on how to get a better SAT score.

But what we do see in short supply – especially on the Internet – are the most effective techniques for improving your results.

Here are 5 proven ones…

How to Increase SAT Scores

Despite all the talk about how SAT scores mean less and less to the colleges admissions process, the fact remains that many schools still take a good hard look at a student’s results when considering their application.

So it makes sense then to deliver as superior a score as possible. Here’s a look at some ways to increase your student’s SAT score before sending them off to colleges and universities.

Master the essay

Introduced in 2005, the essay section now counts as roughly 10% of your total score. A thoughtful, well written essay completed within the 25 minute time limit can really help your student make up for shortcomings in other sections. Some tips include: keeping the essay to around 4-5 medium sized paragraphs, using real life, current examples as proof, and considering the opposing point of view if one side isn’t producing compelling writing. Feel free to check out this College Made Simple article with more details on mastering the essay section here.

Practice… and then practice some more

The more practice tests they take prior to the actual SAT, the less pressure your student will feel when sitting down for the real thing. If the SAT has a “been there, done that” feel for them, chances are they’re comfortable with just about any type of question on the test. Practice tests will prevent your student from being take off guard by a “curveball” question and potentially losing points. Take them early and often.



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Test early

If your student takes the test right at the beginning of their junior year, that gives them the previous summer to study and practice at a leisurely pace without interfering with their school work. It allows them to focus completely on the test without being distracted by exams, papers, homework etc. Acing the SAT essentially becomes their summer job. A good score to start off their junior year also takes a huge weight off your student’s shoulders and can allow them to relax and devote more time to making sure their school grades are the best they can be.

Learn a new word every day

Building an SAT level vocabulary doesn’t need to be completely laborious (good word right?) process. Buy your student a “Word of the Day” calendar they can tear off each day and learn a new term. Or have them subscribe to an e-mail service like Miriam Webster’s Word of the Day. It’s a low pressure, effective way to implant SAT words in their head. Chances are, they might start using them at the dinner table sooner than later.

Don’t do it all in your head

No matter how confident your student may be going into the math section, they should resist the temptation to do problems in their head. Careless mistakes are almost always born this way. Taking the extra minute to write down the actual work instead of speeding through with overconfidence, especially on problems involving multiple steps, can save points and preserve what should be a great score.

There’s always a piece of advice someone can give you on how to do well on the SAT. But above all – take the test seriously. Proper preparation and consideration taken for each and every section is what’s needed most if your student wants to be able to attach a great set of scores to their college application.

To your family’s successful college admissions,

Scott Weingold

Co-founder, College Planning Network LLC
Publisher, College Made Simple – The Free Educational Resource of College Planning Network, LLC


Related Articles:

The Best Way to Improve SAT Scores

9 Ways to Increase the SAT Score by 203 Points or More

What are the Hardest SAT Problems?

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by CollegeStats.org.  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News, TheStreet.com, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.