SAT Study Photo

General Study Advice

Yes, there is just one correct answer!

Students who complain, "The answer choices are SO close," are right! If you narrow it down to two possible answers, realize only one is correct. If an answer MIGHT work, it probably is not the right answer. So, keep going until you have evidence that one is correct.

It is harder to eliminate the answers in the reading and writing areas. Keep finding the incorrect answers until you are at the one correct answer to choose.

Ask questions of your tutor when you are studying

To maximize your scores on the new SAT, you must practice asking yourself questions about why you chose your answers. You will learn more from the ones you miss if you ask yourself why you chose those wrong answers.

Find out why you are making your mistakes and adjust accordingly

The following are typical patterns students notice then correct:

"I actually knew the answer but made a mistake. I will be more careful in the future. For example, I didn't pay attention to some of the words such as: less, least, few, most."

"I need more work on the content, especially with math or grammar questions."

"I was having issues with understanding the questions."

"I went too fast. My errors were all through the section."

"I went too slowly. I missed questions at the end of a section."

Study Advice for the New SAT: Reading Section

Reading Questions

Look for adjectives (less, more, fewer, none) to help you eliminate answers. Look at more than the exact line used in the question. Sometimes the sentences before or after can change the meaning. Again, look for adjectives that can help you determine the real meaning.

Think about your answer before reading the choices

 As soon as you read the question, answer it to yourself and THEN look at the choices provided. That way, you will be less likely tricked into choosing an option just because it sounds right. All choices should be proven.

Reading Passages on the New SAT

Good news! On the New SAT we know that each student will have four individual passages and one pair of passages. One passage will come from U.S. & World Literature, two from History & Social Studies, and two from Science. Each passage has between 500 and 750 words. At least one of the passages will have a graph, table or chart. The reading section will take 65 minutes and have 52 questions. It will always be the first section you will be given.

In addition to the style of questions previously used on the old SAT, there will also be evidence questions and data analysis questions.

It is important that you know how to attack the reading passage to be able to answer the questions correctly and efficiently.

Try to save some time at the end to check your answers.

Read all directions and introductions carefully.

Find Evidence for your answers!

Often two answers (or more) seem to be correct, however you will find only one has evidence it is correct. That evidence may be in the passage or the chart. Even the inference questions will be able to be logically deduced from the evidence. If you cannot back it up with specific information, it is wrong!

Study Advice for the New SAT: Math Section

Check your Basic Skills first!

First, check your basic math skills. If you are not good with your basic math skills, practicing just the questions will not help. Many students have weaknesses in various areas and levels of math. Without learning those areas well (filling in gaps), you will NOT improve your score. Many students are surprised to hear that students that did not complete any practice problems, but worked on improving math skills, made great improvement! This doesn't mean not to practice, but rather make sure all basic math skills are solid.

Solve answers before looking at the multiple-choice answers

As with the reading section, as soon as you read the question, answer it to yourself and THEN look at the choices provided. If your answer doesn't match any of the options, reread the question and rework the problem.

Should I memorize the formulas?

This is a little tricky. Most people will say no need since they are listed in the math section. However, searching for a formula uses precious time. The best advice is to both understand and memorize the formulas.

This is a great free site that lists the formulas on the test that you MUST know how to use.

Work with your tutor to make sure you understand and can use the above formulas.

There are both calculator and NO calculator sections.

Study Advice for the New SAT: Writing Section

Memorize Grammar and Punctuation Rules

Most students assume they are good at grammar and punctuation. This is not good for the New SAT! There are specific rules you should be familiar with and, in fact, memorize. For example, the New SAT is looking for you to appropriately use, and not use commas. You should also familiarize yourself with rules concerning apostrophes like Who's vs. Whose and Their vs. They're vs. There. And, know rules concerning semicolons, periods, colons, and dashes.

Check out this great site for practice.

Additional Grammar Rules to Memorize:

  • Parallel Structure (keep all lists in the same format)
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Pronoun Agreement
  • Verb Tense
  • Adjectives & Adverbs
  • Word Pairs (such as neither-either and nor-or)
  • Who, Which, and Whom
  • Modification: Dangling and Misplace Modifiers
  • Pronoun Case
  • Idioms
  • Transitions

 

Analyze, then write

Instead of a general answer, you are expect to craft a well-analyzed argument from information in the passage. Out of the 50 for the essay, plan to spend 10 minutes understanding the passage, 10 minutes to plan use paper for the planning) and then 20 minutes on writing and finally 10 minutes to edit. Make sure there is specific evidence in your writing. On the other hand, watch wordiness and redundancy.

Reading Passages on the New SAT

Good news! On the New SAT we know that each student will have four individual passages and one pair of passages. One passage will come from U.S. & World Literature, two from History & Social Studies, and two from Science. Each passage has between 500 and 750 words. At least one of the passages will have a graph, table or chart. The reading section will take 65 minutes and have 52 questions. It will always be the first section you will be given.

In addition to the style of questions previously used on the old SAT, there will also be evidence questions and data analysis questions.

It is important that you know how to attack the reading passage to be able to answer the questions correctly and efficiently.

Try to save some time at the end to check your answers.

Read all directions and introductions carefully.

Test Day Advice for the New SAT

Remember to bring your...
  • Admission ticket
  • Photo ID
  • #2 Pencils and eraser
  • Calculator
  • Snacks and water
  • Watch to monitor time
Watch Timing

or the math and reading sections, don't spend more than a minute trying to figure out each questions. In the grammar section don't spend more than 30 seconds per item.

Skip Difficult Questions

At the end, come back and guess if you have time. There are not penalty points for incorrect answers.

Notice then Control Anxiety

"Stay calm" is easier said than done. More realistic is to notice when anxiety starts to increase, then take a moment to bring it under control. That brief moment is well worth the time it takes you away from answering questions. It may include noticing your next three breaths or anything you've practiced that works for you to keep your anxiety from increasing.

Have more questions about the New SAT? Contact us and set up a consultation!