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

1.  The key to the math section is: reading.

Whenever you are stumped on a question, re-read it. Then read it again.  Test question creators have recently added subtle word changes to the math section questions to make them increasingly difficult.

2.  Math questions become more difficult as you go through each section.

If you are nearing the end of a section and find that you cannot figure out the last few questions, don’t waste your time trying to answer them. Your time will be better spent reviewing your answers to the questions in the beginning and middle of the section. Keep in mind that all the questions are weighted the same. You won’t get extra points for answering the hardest questions. Furthermore, a few blank answers will not make a material impact on your score.

3.  Avoid random guessing in the multiple choice sections

The SAT’s scoring formula has been adjusted to penalize you for incorrect answers. As a result, you will not benefit from random guessing. Truth is, you lose more points for answering a question incorrectly than you do for not answering it at all. As a result, you will not be rewarded for random guessing. So, if you have absolutely no idea what the correct answer is to a question, we suggest you simply skip it and move on.

It is to your advantage to guess at the answer, however, when you can eliminate at least one answer choice as incorrect. Usually you will be able to identify at least one choice that is clearly wrong. Eliminating even one incorrect choice will improve your odds of selecting the correct answer.

The only exception to this rule is when you face a problem-solving question that requires you to write in an answer. Since you don’t have a set of answer choices to give you a clue as to the correct solution, your best strategy is to solve the problem to the best of your ability and write in your answer.

4.  Know the directions ahead of time.

This probably sounds like self-evident advice. However, we mention it because we’ve often had clients tell us how they inadvertently wound up wasting precious test time by going back to re-read directions after the test had begun, or by not making it back from their hourly breaks promptly. Remember, these activities will take time away from working on the questions.

5.  Eliminate the obvious but “sneaky” wrong choices.

With practice, you should begin to recognize how the SAT presents deceptive but obvious incorrect answer choices. There are several common patterns here that will begin to become apparent.

6.  For the Reading Comprehension section, be aware of “strong” answers.

In this section, avoid answer choices that use extreme wording. Examples include: only, never, and all.

7.  Know and study the common writing section topics.

These topics include the five grammar rules tested most often, specifically: modifiers, subject/verb agreement, pronouns, parallelism, and idioms.

8.  Beware and have a deep understanding of common vocabulary words.

These words appear frequently on the reading section: ambivalent, underscore, disinterested.

9.  Skip questions that are exceedingly difficult for you.

Every question on the SAT is worth the same, equal number of points. So, it’s to your advantage to occasionally skip questions you find difficult to answer… and come back to them later. This two-pass system will create your own efficient order of difficulty. Generally speaking, you have approximately one minute per question if you finish them all.

Thoughts on Retaking the SAT

Obviously, it will be in your best interest to do your best on the SAT the first time you take it. If, however, you believe your test score is not indicative of your best ability, it will generally not hurt you to retake this important exam. Remember, most colleges will only look at your highest test score. Many of the admissions officers will even be favorably impressed if you show an improvement in your test scores.

Practice, Practice, Practice

While all the tips revealed in this report can help students considerably, there’s simply no substitute for putting in the time on practice. Students will see the biggest improvement in scoring by practicing the same type of questions that will be on the actual SAT.

Finally, test takers will increase their scores immensely by spending the most time studying and practicing questions in their weakest subject area. Practice in this area will  help provide the most efficient use of test-prep time.

Here’s to great SAT scores,
scottsig
Scott Weingold

Editor’s Note:  Scott Weingold has been ranked one of the top ten college funding advisors in the country. 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 Ohio-based College Planning Network, LLC, one of the nation’s largest and most reputable college and financial aid servicing centers. CPN is a member of the National Association of College Admission Counseling and the Better Business Bureau.

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 teleseminars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He’s been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.

 

Related Articles:

What are the Hardest SAT Problems?

The Best Way to Improve SAT Scores

5 Proven Ways to Increase the SAT Scores 

Find us on Facebook! Find us on Facebook!


Increase Your SAT Scores Learn How to Increase the SAT Score... By 203 Point or More
Just tell us where to send the full report...
E-mail:
We'll also send you - at no charge - the College Funding Made Simple e-Course, delivered to your email inbox in 12 parts, by topic. With each part, you'll come away with valuable, actionable insights proven to help parents and students in the college admissions and funding process.

NO-SPAM PLEDGE: We believe that your personal information should stay that way. Rest assured, your email address is 100% confidential, and under no circumstance will we ever rent, sell or give away your email address outside of our own network without you specifically requesting us to do so.

6 Comments

Nisha PatelJanuary 30th, 2011 at 8:58 am

I would like to improve my SAT scores

Nisha PatelJanuary 30th, 2011 at 8:59 am

I need some tips o how to increase my math scores

TylerJune 22nd, 2011 at 3:41 am

Most practice questions forthe SAT’s are in Math and Reading. I did fine in those two, I need to bring up my Writing Skills. Any suggestions?

Cathy EbenJune 27th, 2011 at 11:55 am

Hello Tyler,
There are a few things to keep in mind about the Writing portion of the SAT. To achieve the highest score you must be able to provide the following;
* effectively develop a point of view on the issue and demonstrate outstanding critical thinking, use clear and appropriate examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position
* have a well organized and clearly focused progression of ideas
* exhibit skillful use of language, with a varied and accurate vocabulary
* free from most errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics

With these factors in mind, it would be helpful for you to go over vocabulary terms, sentence structure and flow of thought. You can find free SAT vocabulary terms at http://www.freevocabulary.com

Cathy EbenJune 27th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

To improve your SAT scores and in particular your Math portion of the SAT score, you would want to go over the Math strategies that you learned in high school; algebra, geometry, and trigonometry functions. A good way to increase your score is to find out what you missed on the last test and work through the problem until you understand how to arrive at the correct answer. Practice tests are also a good way to move through the material, and then go back and work on the problems that you missed until you understand what you did wrong.

Good luck to you!

Linda KayeFebruary 12th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Of great importance is to begin studying months before the SAT and work regularly and consistently. Learning the grammar rules, increasing vocabulary, and enhancing essay skills– each is a time consuming endeavor.

Also, use a book which includes detailed answer explanations so that the student is able to enhance skills by learning from from inevitable mistakes.

Leave a comment
Your comment


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.