It's SAT time, and for many juniors and seniors in high school, that means the race is on to cram for a better score.
Want to nail the SAT this year? Here are seven tips to help you.
The truth is that much of the groundwork for conquering the verbal section of the SAT was laid long before you started studying for this test.
Kids who are strong readers are much more likely to do better on the verbal portion of the test than those who aren't. But even if you prefer your iPod to a book, that doesn't mean you're doomed to bomb the verbals. Practice by reading short non-fiction magazine articles and focusing on the topic at hand.
Look up words that you don't know and keep a running list of new words to learn.
2 Know your math.
The math section is comprised almost entirely of the principles covered in algebra I and geometry, so make sure to focus on the material in these classes. If math is not your strongest subject, you still can do well on the test by practicing the key concepts of arithmetic, algebra and geometry and sharpening your critical-thinking skills so that you don't waste time trying to figure out what a particular word problem is asking.
The best way to prepare for the SAT is to take practice tests and lots of them. These tests not only introduce you to the types of questions you will be asked, but they also help you get a feel for the time that will be allotted for each section. Check out a test prep book from the library, check online for practice tests (one site is www.collegeboard.com), or talk to your school's guidance counselor for SAT practice test resources.
4 Eat, drink, and sleep.
While it's tempting to spend the final hours before your SAT cramming vocabulary words while feasting on energy drinks and french fries, you will actually perform much better on test day if you focus on eating well, staying hydrated and getting a solid night's rest.
If possible, go for a short walk or do some yoga stretches the morning of the test to clear your mind and sharpen your focus. Also, while you want to stay hydrated, don't drink so much that you wind up wasting valuable test time running back and forth to the bathroom!
5 Don't be late.
If you are notorious for hitting the snooze button and getting to school in the nick of time, make a plan to avoid this habit on test day. Remember that you not only have to get to the testing center, you have to check in, find your seat, and maybe even hit the restroom one last time.
Make sure you have your ID and your SAT admission ticket ready to go in the morning and set as many alarms as necessary to get out of bed on time.
6 Don't be afraid to guess (sometimes).
The common advice is that you should not guess blindly on the SAT because incorrect answers take away from your overall score. But if you can narrow down your selection to two answers, the odds are in your favor for guessing.
7 Show your work.
If you are having a hard time puzzling out a math or logic problem, take notes or draw a diagram in the side margin of your test. Sometimes, just seeing the information visually is all you need to unlock the secret to figuring out the answer.