Every SAT tutor has a couple of things they know their students absolutely need to do to get a good score on the SAT. Sometimes the smallest things can make a huge difference. So, what do SAT tutors wish their students would do more?
1. Start Studying For The SAT Early
The ideal time to start studying for the SAT is the summer after Sophomore year in high school. The more time you give yourself, the less you have to cram and the earlier you can get key issues worked out. Practicing even just an hour a week will add up a lot over time.
2. Read For Fun
Reading for fun is the number one thing that boosts scores on the SAT Reading Section. But, you might say, I don’t like reading! Well, find a book about something you like more than you dislike the act of sitting down and reading. The more it relates to your life, the more you can apply it to yourself. Are you interested in dance? Find a book on choreography! Do you feel alone and hard to understand? Google “Books with protagonists who ___” and see what turns up. Does your favorite videogame have a series of novels that go with it? Give those a read! Do you want to step up your fart jokes with science? Try reading Gulp by Mary Roach! As long as you are reading a book in English, you’ll reap the benefits.
3. Take Practice Tests
Practice tests are a great way to practice putting everything you’ve learned together. There are a couple of problems that won’t show up during self-study but can reveal themselves on a practice run. Test anxiety, endurance issues, and test fatigue can pose a real problem to students on the SAT test, but you won’t know if you deal with them until you try testing.
No matter how much you study or how good your tutoring is, your physical wellbeing will always be the greatest factor in your final grade. It won’t matter if you’ve studied 14 hours of SAT a week for years; if you start a juice cleanse right before your SAT, you will not make above a 1350. This might seem obvious, but students have done this before. Your brain needs nutrients to make serotonin and dopamine, the chemicals which help you focus and succeed on the SAT.
SAT tutors wish that all students knew this, but sadly, not all do.
In the same vein as making sure you eat, make sure you sleep. If you stay up until 3am watching YouTube the night before your SAT test, your score will seriously suffer. This might seem obvious, but someone does it every year. Your body needs sleep to repair itself from daily stresses and stock up on dopamine and serotonin for the coming days. Get as close to eight hours of sleep every night the week leading up to the SAT. It will make a huge difference.
6. Keep Calm
Treating the SAT like it’s a massive, scary, insurmountable ordeal will only hurt your scores. Take a couple of deep breaths, and acknowledge that it’s serious, but it is manageable, and you will be okay. Preparation and study will go a long way, and you should treat it seriously, but at the end of the day, it’s just a test. It’s manageable, and you can conquer it.
That’s all! I hope you follow some of this advice! Pick one and get reading. If you want more SAT and ACT prep advice sure to join our mailing list for a free 27-item checklist and 30-day free SAT email course.