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SAT Test Taking Strategies

It's hard for students to understand that taking the SAT is not only about solving the problems at hand. It's about solving as many problems correctly as you can in a small window of time. To do well on the SAT you have to know some of the tricks of the trade. You only have an allotted amount of time and you should spend that time wisely. Here are some basic strategies I give to students:

1. Don't get stuck on any 1 problem. SAT penalizes for wrong answers.
2. Eliminate answers when you can.
3. For questions that involve equations of graphs, use your calculator.
4. Show all of your work so that you can check it over quickly and move on.
5. Decrease the amount of mental math you do and write your work down.
6. If you are working with questions, sometimes you can just plug in your multiple choice options to see which one works.
7. Label problems that you skip somehow, whether it is with the word SKIP or a big circle around the number so you can see it clearly.
8. Draw diagrams when you can.
9. Circle key words in problems that you find yourself reading repeatedly.
10. Remember, your answers must be on the answer sheet, your work in the test booklet does not count.

These are not the only things that you need to do well, but if you spend 10 minutes on 2 problems, you may run out of time for some problems that you may have been able to do correctly.

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