How To Get A Better SAT Score

Most colleges require you to submit your SAT scores when you apply, and many won’t even consider students whose scores are well below average. Boosting your SAT score can mean the difference between not getting accepted anywhere and having dozens of colleges that all want you as a student. After taking the test once, you may not understand how it is possible to bump your score much in just a few short months, but there are ways to do it without spending all of your free time trying to cram for the test.

Vocabulary

The more vocabulary words you know, the better you’ll do overall. Use old tests to compile a list of words you don’t know; you’ll be surprised at how often those words get reused. Other than that, one of the best ways to get more vocabulary-based questions correct is to read. Look for books a step above your current reading level and write down words you come across that you don’t know.

Essay

When you write your essay, be mature without filling your essay with big words that you learned specifically to increase your SAT score. Instead, focus on an essay that’s well organized, with a thesis statement, introductory paragraph, and closing. Have a point to argue and support your point clearly in the body of the essay. Before you turn in the test, be sure to proofread to ensure that you haven’t made any silly spelling or grammar errors.

Math

Most math errors come from silly mistakes. Don’t get me wrong – you need to prepare well by understanding basic rules of geometry and algebra. Beyond that, however, your SAT score will drop when you’re moving quickly and doing math in your head. A great way to ensure that you don’t make careless mistakes is to write out all of your work, even simple addition problems.

Stuck on a math problem? Write down what you do know. As you write, you may remember something that you didn’t remember before. If you still don’t know how to answer the problem, mark your best guess very lightly on the answer sheet and come back to it. A light bulb could go on in your head as you’re working on another problem that uses related methods.

Guessing

I just mentioned that you should guess if you don’t know the answer and know that some students may gasp at the thought. Many teachers adamantly tell students never to guess unless you can narrow down the choices to just two answers. However, studies show that someone who guesses on questions they don’t know and someone who skips these questions end up with about the same score. The advantage to guessing, then, is that you’ll stay on track with your answer sheet, not accidentally marking answers you do know in the wrong places.

Some Final Tips

Still struggling? Here are some final tips to consider:

  • Learn how to write every letter in cursive according to technical standards. Write neatly on the test, whether you’re printing or using cursive.
  • Take the PSAT to get a feel for what to expect and see where you stand.
  • Come up with three to five impressive vocabulary words that you can us in your essay without sounding forced or like you’re trying too hard.

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