It is just shy of sixty days until the next SAT examination. Many students are smugly sitting-back, intending to take the test "cold", confident in their ability to get a passing score. They are smug now because, for most, that is the worst possible tactic for SAT test taking.
The mistake many students make is in thinking that the SAT is a knowledge-based test, that it reflects what they have learned in school for the past eleven or twelve years. This is their first wrong answer. The next mistake is thinking that preparation is not necessary for the very same reason. A distinction should be made. While studying is not required, preparation is.
What these students need to understand is that the SAT is a test which measures your ability to take standardized tests. It is like a credit score; although you may not understand how the score is developed or how to improve your score, both are vital to success. Students desiring to attend top-ranked colleges should achieve a score in the 700s on both sections of the test. A score in the 500s can easily improve to the desired level with some familiarity with the different types of questions and the strategies to effectively respond within the time frames allowed.
Time management is crucial. Test-takers should plan on completing a question in one minute or less. This will be difficult to accomplish, especially on the long passage questions without knowledge and ability to keep pace.
The questions on the test are best answered by eliminating the wrong responses rather than selecting the right answer. In any multiple choice test, there are generally one or two choices that are obviously not the answer. Whether there are more than one depends upon the number of responses provided. Next, the test-taker must narrow-down the choices to one or two most likely correct answers. The tough part is deciding between the two closest responses. For this, the assistance of qualified SAT instructors and tutors is helpful.
Students are well-advised to research and employ the skills necessary to learn how to reduce the options until only one correct choice remains. The second skill required is the ability to reduce the choices quickly.
Start now and identify as many tips and strategies as possible. Review the practice test questions daily. The more time spent preparing, the better the eventual result.