Career Opportunities - Home
The Career Opportunities Article
How to Take the SAT Test: Study Tips

How to Take the SAT Test: Study Tips

This is Print View - Back to Normal View

As with any test, there are strategies you can use on the SAT Reasoning Test to ensure you finish in the allotted time and with the best possible score. Here are a few tips related to the three main areas of the SAT: the writing portion, the critical reading portion, and the mathematics portion.

The writing portion

SAT test tipsThe essay:

  • Use a pencil, because essays written in ink are given a score of zero.
  • Your assigned topic will take the form of an issue presented in a passage, so you will not be able to plan out your response beforehand -- but you can practice organizing and outlining arguments.
  • Read the entire assignment. The goal is to be thorough, thoughtful and organized, and all of the information given to you can help.
  • Organize the essay any way that makes sense to you, as long as you can make a point and convincingly back it up with examples. One option is to follow the 5-paragraph essay style, though the style itself won't earn any points.
  • Plan your time well. Spend the first few minutes thinking about your main point and writing a rough outline. Come up with your overall statement and 1-3 supporting points. Organize your thoughts on how you will use each point to support your main idea.
  • When writing, stick to your outline, stay focused on your main statement, and take the time to thoroughly explain the points you're making -- but keep an eye on the clock, because you want to save some time for review.
  • Spend the last few minutes reviewing what you've written. Make sure it makes sense, and make any changes you need to. If it reads well to you, chances are it will read well to the reviewers.

Multiple choice:

  • Read the instructions carefully to make sure you completely understand the question.
  • Eliminate the answers you know are wrong first. If you're still not sure, make an educated guess from the remaining ones.

The critical reading portion

Multiple choice:

  • Answer the sentence completion questions first, since they are easier than the reading questions. The sentence completions increase in difficulty if you do them in order.
  • Read the passages carefully. All the information you need to answer the question is supplied, so don't be fooled by answers that sound right but aren't supported by the reading.
  • Don't jump from passage to passage. These questions don't increase in difficulty, so it's better to answer them one passage at a time.
  • Mark the questions you skip in your test booklet, so you can go back to them later.
  • Leave it blank, don't guess, if you have no idea what the answer is and you can't eliminate any choices. Wrong answers subtract 1/4 of a point, while blank answers don't add or subtract anything.

The mathematics portion

Student-generated (grid-in):

  • Do practice problems online.
  • Formulas are provided in the test booklet, so you don't have to try to memorize them.
  • Read each question carefully, looking for key words that indicate what the problem is asking. Is the answer a percentage? An angle? The complement of an angle?
  • Draw a sketch of the problem if you need to, and use the booklet for scratch work.
  • All figures are drawn to scale unless otherwise indicated. The test won't try to trick you with inaccurate drawings.

Multiple choice:

  • Look at the answer choices before taking the time to figure it out. One might make itself obvious to you right away.
  • Eliminate wrong answers by trying them in the question -- but don't do this for every problem, as it takes up time.

Related articles

How to Take the SAT Test: Overview

How to Take the SAT Test: Sample Questions

How to Take the SAT Test: Dates and Schedule

Other articles

Find a school near you

How to choose a college major

Picking the right college

Online college education

What is a technical school?

Ten hot careers for the future

College: To be or not to be?

College debt alternatives

Career tips for high school students

Just graduated, now what?

The high school drop-out epidemic

Employee rights for teenagers

Up and coming careers in the next ten years

What is an MBA?

Different types of medical nurses

Different types of medical job

References

Test Prep Review: SAT Test online course

Study Guide Zone: SAT Test

CollegeBoard: About the SAT

Related Careers

  1. Medical Transcription
  2. Accountant
  3. Registered Nurse (RN)
  4. Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
  5. Acupuncturist
  6. Critical Care Nurse
  7. Emergency Medical Technician
  8. Fitness and Nutrition Instructor
  9. Health Information Technician
  10. Massage Therapist
  11. Medical Assistant
  12. Pharmacy Assistant
  13. Social Service Worker
  14. Software Tester
  15. Surgery Technologist
  16. Technical Support
  17. Corporate Travel Consultant
  18. Diesel Mechanic
  19. Management Analysts
  20. Medical Records Technician
  21. Motorboat Mechanic
  22. Physical Therapist Assistant
  23. Resort Manager
  24. Business Administration Manager
  25. Fundraising Manager
  26. Operations Manager
  27. Oriental Medicine and Therapy
  28. Dialysis Technician
  29. Dental Assistant
  30. Forensic Computing Technologist
  31. Game Programmer
  32. Police Officer
  33. Cosmetologist
  34. Culinary Artist
  35. Web Designer
  36. Museum Education Specialist
  37. Personal Trainer
  38. Health Educator
  39. Court Reporter
  40. Legal Nurse Consultant
  41. Paralegal Nurse
  42. Advertising Sales Agent
  43. Anesthesiologist Assistant
  44. Architectural Drafters
  45. Audio Engineering
  46. Benefits Administrator
  47. Stonemason
  48. Real Estate Broker
  49. Funeral Director
  50. Bookkeeper
  51. Executive Secretary
  52. Publisher
  53. X-ray Technologist
  54. Aquarist
  55. Robot Programmer
  56. Contract Specialist
  57. State & Federal Prison Teacher
  58. Exercise Physiologist
  59. Research chef
  60. Trade Show Organizer
  61. Loan Manager
  62. Dental Hygienist
  63. Library Technician
  64. Special Event Coordinator
  65. Film & Video Sound Engineers
  66. Doll Fashion Designer
  67. Usability Consultant
  68. Civil Drafter
  69. Pharmacy Tech
  70. Promoter
  71. Broadcaster
  72. Medical Research Associate
  73. Wireless Support Analyst
  74. Perfusionist
  75. Naturopathic doctor
  76. Child Life Specialist
  77. Public Relation Representative
  78. Video Game Tester
  79. Technology Event Manager
  80. Home Health Nurse
  81. Advertising Coordinator
  82. Sports Manager
  83. Pharmacist
  84. Postsecondary and College Teacher

Comments

There are no comments on this post.

Add a Comment

Allowed tags are: a, b, em, i, p, strong, u; Line breaks are converted automatically.

Suggestions

Title