Four Tips for Improving Your Score on the New SAT


Student Teacher Prepping for New SATWhether they are taking the ACT or the New SAT, test prep is extremely important for kids because it can play an important role in determining their college outlook. One key aspect of test prep is confidence.

Sometimes, the whole preparation process is stressful for parents who don’t know how to best support their kids. Here are some tips we found to be the most useful in helping students gain confidence and achieve their potential in test prep.

1. Familiarize Yourself with the Test

A great first step is to become familiar with the test and learn which strategies to use. For instance, with the New SAT there is now no penalty for guessing so students should guess when they are running out of time since they have a 25% chance of guessing correctly. Additionally, being familiar with the layout, sequence of sections, etc means that students will not need to read the instructions before each section, which will help save precious time.

Students become anxious before taking tests for 4 primary reasons:

  1. They don’t know what the test will be like
  2. They don’t know what will be on the test
  3. They don’t know what the testing experience itself will be like
  4. They’re very unsure of how they’ll score

Understanding the test and becoming familiar with the materials will help students who may feel overwhelmed gain confidence in their test taking abilities. Click here [Link] for an article about the New SAT.

2. Practice

Although high school students tend to be very busy with school and extracurricular activities, practicing both test-taking strategies and content is a worthwhile investment in time. With wordier questions characteristic of the New SAT, practice is useful in making sure students learn to pace themselves properly. Also, with more difficult content (especially in math) on the New SAT, students will definitely benefit from any extra practice that they can fit into their schedule.

Additionally, with more practice students will be able to see which types of questions they need to focus on. Instead of working on one’s strengths, targeting weaknesses will often yield the most gain in test prep. Students should plan to practice and work on test prep weekly over the course of several months leading up to their test to see the best results.

3. Accountability

We just talked about the importance of dedicating time to test prep which goes hand-in-hand with accountability. Since there is a lot of material to cover during preparation for the New SAT, keeping on track with a study plan is useful in making sure students are prepared by test day. This is why after making a study plan, the next step is to ensure that students can stick to their plan and make progress towards their test prep goals.

Having an accountability system such as a weekly check-in with a parent or tutor can make a huge difference in scores.

4. Mock Tests

As we’ve mentioned before, practice is necessary for improvement. Full-length practice under timed conditions is crucial for success on the actual exam. Going through the practice of taking whole practice tests will really help significantly decrease anxiety on test day since students will be familiar with the process, start to finish. Also, with full-length practice tests students get the additional bonus of increasing their endurance on such a long standardized test.

Taking a diagnostic test will help track progress in terms of what to work on next and motivate students to continue improving. Knowing that they are improving will help students gain confidence in their abilities. Another great thing about taking practice tests is that they allow students and tutors to target areas of greatest opportunity for improvement. Click here to learn more about taking a simulated practice test.