5 Crucial Tips That Can Help You Improve Your SAT Score

Dear College Made Simple reader,

While SATs are spread throughout the year – this is one of the hottest seasons. Many high schoolers are either taking their first test… sitting for the SAT IIs… or improving upon previous SAT scores.

No matter which situation you’re in, there are a few easy things you can do to maximize your score. Today, we’ll take a look at the five most important.


5 Crucial Tips That Can Help You Improve Your SAT Score

1. Give yourself time. When you start studying is entirely up to you. And it’s been shown, time and time again, the sooner you start studying, the better you’ll do. It’s a self-evident truth – but it’s only further reinforced by studies that show the same thing.

Not only can you goose your score an extra 50 or 100 points by getting ready earlier… but the study itself will be easier as well. You see, while you will be spending more hours getting ready, the most powerful part of starting study early isn’t the extra time as much as the chance for your mind to process everything. In other words, you’ll remember more of what you cover –without the stress of “cramming.”

2. Practice. Nothing – absolutely nothing – will give you as big a leg up as practice tests.

With practice, you’ll memorize the test instructions, so you won’t have to spend time figuring out what you’re being asked in each section. With practice, you’ll get a better feel for the questions you’ll see, and the types of thinking you’ll need to apply. And, of course, with practice, you’ll learn your weakest areas, and hence have an opportunity to focus your study where it will do the most good.

3. A Word A Day.  Hopefully, you already know a good number of the SAT vocabulary words. That said, very few people know enough to feel confident without study – and, as mentioned earlier, cramming a bunch of words at a time isn’t the best way to retain them.

If you start early enough, though, you can add a word a day without too much trouble, and cover most of the gaps in your knowledge. With only a word a day, you can really focus on it – go over the definition, use it three times in everyday conversation, and review it again before you go to sleep. Easy – and highly effective.

4. Relax.  For many students, the hardest thing about the test is knowing you’re being tested.

Studies have shown that most people get “dumber” under test-like pressure – they miss questions with answers they know.

The solution? Learn how to relax your mind.

Studying early and taking many practice tests help here – the confidence you gain can make a big difference.

But there are plenty of other things you can do as well. Practice various breathing techniques – anything from counting to ten to full-on meditation. Calm yourself just before the test starts – and between any sections, if you have the time. Learn to recognize when you mind is tensing – and, as you notice it, do your best to sooth your mind.

5. Prep yourself right.   This should go without saying – but before the test, get a good night’s rest. After all, nothing dulls the the brain like lack of sleep.

Try to make your night-before meal a light, healthy one. Salmon, for example, is rich in brain-assisting fatty acids.

Of course you should have a good idea what will help your body work best – the key is, don’t give it short shrift during the drama and tension that often precede an SAT sitting.

Treat yourself right – and you’ll help yourself in the end.

To your college admissions success,

Scott Weingold

Co-Founder, College Planning Network LLC

Publisher, CollegeMadeSimple.com – The free educational resource of College Planning Network

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1 Comment

Doris NwudaApril 17th, 2012 at 9:19 am

I’m so happy about what I have learnt so far, and I will tell my friends about this website.
Thank you

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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.