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4 months ago
Admissions Advice

SAT
Answered

What do you think is the best way to go from a 1460 (700 Math, 760 R&W) to at least a 1550? This was a Khan Academy practice test, not the real SAT. How different is the real test going to be?

12th
SAT
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12
@ishikapatel4 months ago [edited]

As much as you won't want to, do practice tests and go over your wrong answers. You should also learn the patterns on the SAT, which will help you with time

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5 answers

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Accepted Answer
4 months ago

Since math is your weakness, I would recommend two paths. You are actually lucky that your EBRW score is higher than your math score. 90% of the time, test takers get a higher math score. It's actually much much harder to improve your EBRW score than your math one. But the tricky part is sometimes it's just not good use of time to get from a 95% percentile Math score to a 99% score. (anything over an additional 100-200 hours, probably not worth it).

Path 1 - Try getting Nielson Phu's College Panda SAT Math Guide and Workbook and also the 10 Practice Tests for SAT Math. Also try getting Dr. Chungs SAT Math 16 complete SAT Tests (6th Edition). So that's 26 tests. You will know if you are hitting your target score after completing these. If these do not get your Math Score up to 750-770, then I would consider Path 2. .

Path 2 - Try taking focusing on the ACT instead. Why? First of all it only has 1 math section not 2. And the other 3 are English, Writing and Science (which is more like reading comprehension than STEM). Second of all, if your ACT composite score ends in a .50 like 34.5, you automatically get bumped to a 35. So in theory you can get a 36 English, 35 Writing, 34 Science, and 33 Math which is a 34.5 and get a 35 Score which is going to the same as a 1530-1560 or a 99.5% percentile score.

In conclusion, colleges are agnostic with regards to what test score you submit. Therefore, you can knock yourself out trying to get a 1550 SAT score and never get there, or try something else. Keep in mind that not all Ivys' or Elite allow ACT superscores because they already know there is a slight inherent bump to the ACT.

I got stuck in the high 1400s like you, tried Path 1 and didn't help. Then I did path 2 and got a 35. Since failure was not an option, I also bought a paid 6 month subscription to SuperTutorTV best ACT course (Brooke Hanson's videos/problem sets are great). I only used the videos for the areas I was weakest in which was Science and Math, and after 1 month, that was all I needed. Now not everyone has an extra $500.00+ to buy all those books and get the course and pay for another standardized test but if failure is not an option, it's a great investment.

Good luck.

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4 months ago

As the previous reply said, Khan Academy SATs are known to be a bit more challenging than the actual SAT, so I wouldn't worry if your score is just a little below the margin you're hoping for. You have a very good foundation, so I'd recommend the College Panda Math book and Erica Meltzer's R&W books to boost that score up to the top percentile.

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4 months ago

Typically your Khan Academy practice test scores will be lower than your real SAT scores, so I’d expect an increase with or without studying. I’d say keep doing practice problems on Khan and focus on boosting your math since your RW has little room for improvement.

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3 months ago[edited]

Hi.

I took the SAT last school year. My target score was at least 1550 as well. When I was in middle school, I have seen so many sophomores, juniors, and seniors practicing the SAT and I thought, maybe it's just like a school course. You study hard and then you get a really good grade. As someone who was academic since childhood, I thought I could just work really hard and it will work.

I've seen so many people struggling. I have seen so many of my friends in the upper grade, trying to get at least 1550. Some people did in the end after doing the SAT for approximately 3 years. As I grew older, I realized how hard that would be. I guess my target score was really high at first. Then, it suddenly got lower as I went through the SAT practice tests and books.

For me, my problem was the English section. When I took multiple SAT practice tests from Collegeboard and books, I could see that I rarely got over 350 for the Writing portion and 330 for the Reading portion. This was last summer, I think. I calculated my score, and it was approximately somewhere around 1480 - 1500. I sometimes got higher, 1520 - 1530, but I could not reach my target score.

I might be saying this because I am more of a mathematics and science person, but I really think that the Math portion is easier to improve than the English section. So, you have the potential to get 1560 if you have 800 for the Math portion.

When I got a question wrong in the Math portion, I would check those wrong answers and review it a few days later and see if I can solve it again or not. I think it really has to do with practicing and taking the practice tests on Collegeboard. Some teachers told me I should make a scrapbook out of the wrong questions in the Math portion, but I thought that was too much.

I decided to just take my first SAT because I did not want to wait too long. The adults told me it would be a good experience even if I don't get a good score. While taking it, I thought I would get 1450 - 1480. The Math portion and the Writing portion were easier than expected, but the Reading portion was really hard, very hard.

Next thing I knew, I was checking my score and I got my target score.

What I am trying to tell you is, maybe take one real SAT and then start from there. I don't think you can know your score for sure without knowing your score. If I was able to go back in time and tell my old self, who was trying to estimate my actual SAT score based on my practice test scores and my progress, I would have said 'Just take the actual SAT and stop trying to estimate your score without a real SAT score.'

Also, I did not do Khan Academy and I only used the Erica L. Meltzer's SAT books and the practice tests that I could find.

I hope this helps.

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4 months ago

I would highly suggest getting Unicorn 1000 advance math problems book from Amazon. I did all problems in that book thoroughly and that brought my math score from low 700 to 790. You are already good in Reading/writing so just focus on math as it is easier to increase score in math than EBRW.

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