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Advice for SAT Prep to improve 50 points

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Hi! I am a rising junior and I am going to be taking my SAT twice, first in September and then again in November. I’m not taking the essay. I would like some advice on how to prepare for a more fine-tuning approach rather than more of a “big picture” or large improvement-type approach. A lot of the resources I have found online give good advice on how to effectively learn and practice the information, but I feel that I have already done most of that so I’m not sure where to go from here. I got a 1470 on the PSAT/NMSQT as a sophomore, and currently I am at about a 1510-1520 SAT score (I took a practice test last weekend, and I’ve taken a couple before then). My target goal is a 1560 by Sep and a 1570 in Nov. I have not officially started any prep yet other than taking a few practice tests, so I know that my actual score will and can be higher.

Can someone please advise me on any strategies or small tips that might help me improve my score? I know that since I do not need to gain back a whole lot of points on my RAW score, my errors are most likely only a couple of questions that I could avoid getting incorrect. Thanks in advance :)


2 answers

answered on
Accepted answer

It sounds simple, but practice tests. Lots of them.

Scoring in the 1500s already indicates that you probably know everything you need to know; there won't be areas in either section where you're entirely missing knowledge that you need to answer questions. And as you said, the difference between a 1520 and a 1560 can also be pretty tiny because the SAT is graded on a quasi-bell curve — so while the difference between a 1000 and a 1050 might be huge, the difference at the end of the scale is often a single-digit number of questions.

Because of that, what you need to do is practice the act of test-taking itself. Make sure you can keep your focus throughout the full time (about 3 hours), and that you can pace yourself effectively through a section (i.e., knowing when to skip a questions and come back to it at the end of a section). Do practice sections and time yourself; create an environment as close to the real thing as you possibly can. At this point, that would likely be your best way to improve your score.

thank you so much! that’s the direction i was looking to get some clarification on... i agree that at this point it’s pretty much just practice tests hah
answered on

Hi! First off, I think your predicted SAT score is amazing, but I understand that we always want to improve more. I would definitely recommend Khan Academy. If you keep a strong schedule (like spending 30min practicing, 5 times a week), you are guaranteed point gains.

I also heard great things about the SAT Prep Black Book, although I have not tried it out. I read a forum where everyone praised it, so maybe check it out.

thank you for your input!! i agree that khan academy is a useful resource :) i already have a schedule of 2 hours a day for the whole summer but im kinda afraid that im going to lose motivation before the summer is over haha… as for books i have not heard of the black book, but i’ll look at it! thanks again