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  1. Before the test, get a good night's sleep and eat a good breakfast so that you are both rested and nourished.
  2. Allow yourself time to arrive at the test center without feeling rushed or upset.
  3. Arrive at the test center with identification, your ticket, and two (2) sharpened pencils.
  4. Take a deep breath and read the test directions carefully. Time spent reading directions will save time later.
  5. Be sure to read the information about guessing to determine if there is a penalty.
  6. Remember there is only one correct answer. If you identify it, don't waste working through the other possibilities. Go on to the next question.
  7. Pay attention to how questions of the same type are grouped. Notice that many of the easier questions are at the beginning of the section and the harder questions are at the end.
  8. Work through the entire section answering all questions whose answers you know for certain. Spending too much time on questions about which you are unsure may prevent you from reaching questions that you could have answered.
  9. If you have time, return to the questions you left unanswered.
  10. In critical reading sections, read the questions to be answered first to determine what information you are expected to a certain from the passage.
  11. Underline important information as you read through the passages.
  12. Pay particular attention to words such as but, not, however, and therefore. They often signal major thoughts.
  13. Memorize simple basic math formulas.
  14. Use mathematics shortcuts whenever possible.
  15. Use your test book to do scratch work - cross off answers you know are wrong and mark questions you did not answer so you can go back if there is time. Be sure to mark your answers on the separate answer sheet, because you won't receive credit for any answers you marked in the test book.
  16. Be sure that the number on the answer sheet corresponds to the question in the test booklet. Misaligned responses can cost you dearly.

Should You Test Again?

You should definitely consider retesting if:  

  • you had any problems during the test, such as misunderstanding the directions or not feeling well.
  • you aren't satisfied that your scores accurately represent your abilities.
  • you see a discrepancy between your scores and your high school grades.
  • you have completed course work or an intensive review in subject areas since you were tested.
Newly Discovered SAT Tips

  1. Save precious seconds by knowing the directions in advance. They’re always the same.
  2. Answer fewer questions. Yeah, that’s right! If you spend more time on the easy and medium questions than the hard ones, you’ll answer more correctly.
  3. Use the process of elimination. You’ll increase your chances of selecting the right answer if you can get rid of two or more choices you know are incorrect.
  4. Up your vocabulary with flashcards. You know the deal, now get to it!
  5. Want to do well on the critical reading section? Don’t critically read the passage. Just skim it for a general idea, and then focus on the questions.
  6. Try making sentences to figure out the analogies. That’s a good way to figure out the relationship between the words in the answer choices.
  7. Triangle your way to points on the geometry questions. Breaking down squares, rectangles, and circles into triangles can simplify things.
  8. Do x and y confuse you? Then substitute numbers to find the correct answer.
  9. For math word problems, work backward. Use the answers to find which works.
  10. Take a chill pill. In other words, sleep well the night before, eat a good breakfast, and relax! You’ll do fine.