a year ago
Admissions Advice

If you went from a low score on the SAT to a 1500+ how did you do it?

The last time I took a practice SAT my score was low and I want to increase it by a lot. I was wondering how people who raised their SAT score by a lot were able to achieve it and what tips, resources such as websites, tricks, or tools they used to improve their scores?


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1 answer

a year ago[edited]

If you are getting less than an average SAT score say less than 1050 on a practice test, like a 900, then I'm sorry to say that aiming for a 99% percentile score 1500 from a 23% percentile score is futile and it's not going to happen.

I think it's possible to go from 1250 to 1500 with a couple hundred hours of dedication and practice. There are a few things you need foundationally to get there or it's not going to happen. First, you have to completely understand all the math concepts, you can't get a 750 math score without mastering all the math, and you can't guess your way to a 750. On the reading and English section, even if you are an A student in AP English Lang and Lit, you might struggle to get a 750 because the test is timed and you don't have enough time to figure out all the inferences.

I would start with Khan Academy's practice tests and start focusing on all the things you are deficient in and grinding on that. There are a number of really good study guides out there you can order on Amazon like:

-Official SAT study guide both the current and last year's editions because there are a lot of practice tests in them

-College Panda series

-Erica Meltzer's Reading

-Dr. Chung's SAT math workbook

-the SAT prep Black book.

Budget about $200 for all the study guides.

Many students opt in for an online course like Kaplan, Princeton Review, or SuperTutor SAT. They vary in cost from $250 to $3000. But as I said before, no one is going to guarantee you move up in your SAT score like 500 points. At Princeton Review, they talk about improving scores like 180 points is good.

In my situation, I had a 1370-1390 PSAT score something like that which is equivalent to a 1450-1460 SAT, so getting a higher SAT score was in the realm of possibility.

Good luck.

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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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