5 Tips to increase your SAT score
Last year, I had a goal to run a mile in 8 minutes. I began with around a 9-minute mile. I practiced consistently and worked diligently toward my goal and within 4 months, I ran a mile in 7:58. This same work ethic can be applied to increasing SAT test scores.
1- Know your baseline. Sign up to take an official test or a practice test at home. If you take it at home, make sure that you use the actual time constraints and answer sheet. You can find full practice tests via The College Board website. Try to make it as official as possible. This is your baseline score. You will be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Begin this step as early as 9th grade, definitely by 10th grade.
2- Compare your baseline score to your best-fit schools median test scores. As a high school student, you should have an idea of schools that will be a good fit for you based on your personality, goals, and interests. Research those schools and find out the median test scores of the students that they accepted. Your goal score should be above the median score. Now you know exactly how much improvement you have to make!
3- Order an SAT test prep book. My personal favorite is The Official SAT Study Guide by the College Board. There are 8 full practice tests in this book. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and answer as many questions as you can in that time. Then spend 15 minutes going over your answers and truly understand why you missed the problem. Do this 30-minute process at least 4 or 5 times a week. I love 15-minute increments. 15 minutes is long enough to complete a task, but not long enough to feel overwhelming.
4- Complete practice problems and understand why you missed the problem. The last time I sat in an English or Math class was in 2002. Yet, I take an SAT test at least 4 times a year and score a perfect or almost perfect score every time. This is because I have answered enough practice problems to understand what the question is asking and how to find the answer quickly.
5- Study your schedule and find the ideal time to aim for your goal score. If you play baseball or act in the Spring Musical, the March or May test may not be a good time for you. If you are in the marching band or play football, you should probably avoid the August or October test. You want to find a test date and look 4 weeks prior to the test date to ensure that your schedule will allow enough margin for the 15-minute increments to prepare.
There is great debate surrounding how many times a student should take the SAT. Personally, I took it 6 times. Others recommend only taking it 3 or 4 times. However, I believe that since colleges and universities are Institutes of Higher Education, they want scholars at their institutions. Scholars are constantly wanting to learn and improve their performance. Therefore, I believe students should continue to persevere and increase their score until the score is reflective of their potential.
I could write an entire essay about how an individual is not defined by his SAT score; rather the SAT score is just a factor schools use to determine admission and/or scholarships. However, it is one of the easiest factors to knock out of the park!
If you could use accountability, assistance or more tips I would love to help you reach your goal score! I have SAT Prep Courses for the August, October, December, March and May tests.