How to Crack the SAT

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How to Crack the SAT

Eden Beyene, Staff

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On September 15, 2018, I walked out of Franklin High School elated. The cloudy sky that lingered before I entered the test center had cleared (literally and metaphorically), and I burst into a spritely walk despite the chilly weather. What could explain my mood? I had just taken the SAT for the last time. 

As a senior starting the college application process, this was a big deal. The most important test in high school history no longer loomed over me. Although I (and many of my peers) experienced much stress to get to this point, the SAT process does not have to be this way. Save yourself the anxiety: here are some tips I’ve learned over the years to help you crack the SAT. 

 1. Prepare early 

Procrastination may be tempting. You could think you have plenty of time before the test or are just too overwhelmed to start the process- but don’t miss out on one of the best ways to score high. You can tackle the daunting SAT better by prepping months or at weeks in advance. 

2. Take practice tests 

Yes, they’re long and taxing, but crucial. Full-length practice tests give you a direct idea of the test’s content. They also make you familiar with its structure so, come SAT day, you’re completely in your element. You can also find out how to best manage your time within sections. All of these perks combine to make practice tests the ultimate study tool. Take 3 to 4 hours of a few days of the month and take as many as you can- leading up to my SAT, I took 2-3 in one week! 

3. Consider taking the test over the summer 

One of my best scores came from my summer SAT. Although taking the test may be the last thing you want to do over break, this is a time when you have more time and energy than ever. You have time to catch up on sleep and be refreshed on test day. You don’t have to squeeze in a practice test in between homework assignments or try to balance school sports with SAT prep classes. Speaking of SAT prep… 

4. Do a ton of SAT prep 

There are multiple ways to practice besides practice tests. I used a lot of Princeton Review workbooks; they break down every topic tested, so I could target my weak spots. And of course, we can’t forget about Khan Academy. I took their diagnostic tests, which provided personalized feedback to help me prep. They also sent me emails to remind me to practice. If you can, sign up for an SAT prep class that can help give you more structured review. CHS offers a class for credit, and the Answer is a class that takes place on evenings and weekends. CHS also offers free SAT prep to juniors during the winter on different Saturdays, so keep your eyes and ears open for announcements and advertisements.