a year ago

Is it possible to raise my 1180 SAT score to 1500?

I just took the March SAT and my results are 1180. :( This is my first SAT and it is the same as my PSAT score. I have not studied for he SAT. Is it possible as a Junior to raise my SAT score to 1500 by October or November? Also would it be worth it to take the June SAT if I know I won't have much time to study due to finals and school work?

[🎤 AUTHOR]@ROSELMa year ago

@CameronBameron You offer good advice and I don't know if we are allowed to tag people but I would love to hear your input

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Accepted Answer
a year ago

I've heard from people it's possible but I wouldn't count on it. I think if you were in the 1300s and just need to fix some test-taking problems then raising your score 150-200 is a realistic goal in 6-8 months of grinding.

Since you took this test cold turkey, I would do myself a huge favor and take the ACT practice test cold and see which one you are intuitively more aligned with okay. A 1180 SAT is a 24 ACT. So if you get something like 25-28 on your first practice ACT, then you know right away that you need to focus on your ACT not the SAT.

For me personally, I got stuck on the SAT in the high 1400s, and never hit 1500. But my dad told me to try the ACT and I got 33 the first time, and then after 5 weeks of the SuperTutorTV online ACT program, I was getting 35. I took the August ACT and got a solid 35.

Regardless of which format is best for you be prepared to commit about 250 hours of test prep. A lot of people underestimate how much time and effort it takes to re-wire your brain to take these tests if you are not naturally a gifted test taker. Like 1% of HS students can walk in cold and get a 1400+ but for most people, it's a lot of work.

The key books are the following:

-Official ACT or Official SAT red books, both the current year's and last year's as well so you can take more practice tests.

-The College Panda Series

-Erica Meltzer's Reading (SAT)

-For the Love of Science (ACT)

-Some people like the Black Book

-If you only do the SAT, then open a Khan Academy account.

Some people think $250 is a lot of money to pay for online test prep programs but I felt the SuperTutor ones were excellent and well worth the money. Some more expensive ones like Kaplan and Princeton have like guaranty programs where you pay like $1500 or $2000 and they will make sure you get 1400+ or your money back. I'm not sure those are great for everyone.

Good luck. The key thing is to do like 45 min to an hour every day. And try to take a full practice test once a week on Saturday morning mimicking the same test center condition without any distractions. The best is to do it at the Library or a quiet room. And take your breaks and see it that helps.

a year ago

A lot of people at my school have achieved high scores by studying with Khan Academy. It allows you to email reminders to take study sessions, gives you placement with what you need help with, and lets you take mock tests every week to prepare for the SAT. This helps considerably and there are also SAT prep classes that you can sign up for in person through College Board.

a year ago

Hello! I found myself in a similar boat a while ago, so I'm going to use my own personal strategy that has (so far) worked. First, figure out which section (reading/writing or math) you are better in OR naturally find easier. Work to get that section to ~700s first. For me, this was reading/writing. Once you get into 700s for that section, work on the section you are NOT better in or find more challenging. This section should use the bulk of your time. For me, this was math. Work until you have ~700s in this section, then review and take lots of practice tests to make sure you don't forget anything.

Some useful advice:

- No stupid mistakes. You learn faster if you can look at a mistake and try to figure out what went wrong instead of taking it personally (this one took me a while to learn).

- No evidence, not correct. This is for the reading. EVEN IF something is heavily implied, if there is no concrete evidence you can look at or think of to support the answer choice, it is wrong.

- Don't stress yourself out (my own major struggle). With consistency, you will improve.

- Don't buy any review books. You CAN, of course, but libraries often have plenty of resources for free that are usually up-to-date if you can get your hands on them.

Resources & other strategies I used:

MATH: Princeton review books & Khan academy.

PR: Princeton review books (preferably the GIANT ones with lots of tests) are incredibly useful for content review. In school, I'm in honors pre-calc, which meant a lot of smaller algebra II concepts needed refining. This book is great for a simple yet comprehensive overview of everything you need to know, plus drills. Highly recommend.

KA: Khan academy also totally saved me. What I find most useful from KA is that they offer explanations for EVERY problem, as well as step-by-step solutions. This makes learning (if you pay attention) a lot easier (as opposed to just guessing or not knowing what you did wrong).


KA: This, once again, helped me more with little errors in reading rather than major problems I had, but I also recommend it for concise error fixing (PR also works for this).

AP LANG: I can only speak from my experience, but my (fantastic) AP Lang teacher goes over the grammar rules and common mistakes made on the SAT with a workbook. This worked like a charm, and my writing mistakes went from ~14-17 to ~3. If you are not taking this class, I recommend watching or looking up extensive grammar rules. Grammarly's blog can even be helpful, as you begin to understand why certain suggestions are made.

I would say you have much higher chances of success in the June SAT if you cannot find much time to study now, as this is going to be a lot of work. I myself went from 1150 to 1300 in October and will be taking the SAT in less than two weeks (wish me luck!). As an unrelenting optimist, I think you CAN do it, but it will be a lot of time and effort. All the best!

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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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