How to study for the SAT?
I am taking the SAT in May and i need some tips for dealing with the Writing part. Any suggestions or places i can go to see or websites?
Students should leave at least a few months to study for the SAT. It takes that much time to become familiar with the test and study sufficiently for each of the SAT’s three sections.
However, we know from experience that sometimes students wait until just a few days before the SAT before they realize what they’re up against. If you’ve only got a little time left before the SAT, you should forget learning strategy and focus on test familiarity. Here’s how you should study.
Time Required: As little as a few days
Buy the book The Official SAT Study Guide. Published by the College Board (the administrators of the SAT), this guide contains eight sample SATs that come far closer to what’s on the actual exam than anything written by test prep firms.
Familiarize yourself with the structure of the test. Use the Study Guide as well as the College Board website. There are three sections on the SAT–Writing, Math, and Reading–and a variety of question types in each one. You need to understand each type of question, as well as the test’s actual 10-part format.
Make plan for how you’ll study for the SAT. It’s too late to set up anything complicated, but you need to schedule your time because SAT prep can be dull and it’s easy to get distracted. The important thing is to divide your time among the three sections and set out exactly when you’re going to study each one. If you have four evenings to study from 7-9 you might study Writing one night, Math the next, Reading on the third, and all three on the fourth.
When you study Math, your primary goal is not to learn how to answer hard questions, but to make sure you’re familiar with all types of questions and to review issues where you may be rusty. Simply open your book to Test 1 and start paging through the math sections, doing as many problems as possible. You can focus on easy problems or hard ones based on your ability, but make sure you do at least a few from each level of difficulty. Also make sure you do at least two full 25-minute sections.
When you study Writing, you need to become familiar with the essay and each type of multiple choice question. Practice the essay once if you have time. After that, work through each type of multiple choice question as many times as possible. As you review your answers, try to identify the grammar or structural issues that are giving you problems. The Writing multiple choice questions aren’t usually complicated, but errors can be hard to spot. Again, try to keep time at least twice.
When you study Reading, time yourself and work on full sections (usually 25 minutes) from the very beginning. Anyone can read and answer questions–SAT Reading is largely about digesting and finding information in a limited amount of time. Don’t spend a lot of time reviewing your missed answers; the time is better spent practicing more sections.
Review the test basics very briefly, which you can find here on About and on the College Board’s site. Know that guessing is always OK on the SAT. Know that questions typically get harder from the front of each section to the back. Realize that the SAT is long and that you’ll probably be there for over four hours.
Rest as much as possible. The later you start, the more you’ll need to use the time close to the test to prepare. Still, you generally shouldn’t study for the SAT the night before the test–you need a fresh brain to do your best on Saturday.