In this lesson, our professor Vincent Selhorst-Jones gives an introduction on general SAT strategy: taking the test. He discusses a common misconception, pacing yourself, skipping questions, writing in the test booklet, timing, increasing difficulty, guessing, eliminating wrong choices, and goal scores.
Pace yourself. Don't spend too much time on any one question: you get the same number of points whether it's hard or easy.
Skip questions that you find difficult. If a question will take you a long time to figure out, skip it, then come back after you've done the others.
Write in your test booklet. It helps you solve difficult questions, keeps you engaged, and let's you know what to come back to later.
Once you learn the instructions to the test, don't waste time reading them on future tests. They're always the same instructions, so you only need to read them the first time.
Wear a watch and pay attention to the time. Since pacing is so important to taking the test, you need to constantly be aware of the time.
In general, question difficulty increases the farther you get in a section (or in a sub-section, if the section is broken into parts). This means you should budget more time for questions at the end of a section and be more prepared to skip them.
If you can eliminate at least one choice (you almost always can), it's worth it to guess. The more you can eliminate before guessing, the better.
Sometimes it can help to set a "goal score". Figure out what a reasonable goal is for you, then look up what kind of raw score you need. Use this information to help you figure out how many questions you can completely skip.
If you're studying far in advance (6 months or more), look into the "Question-and-Answer Service". If you order it, they'll send you a copy of the test, the correct answers, and what you put down. This can be useful for figuring out what you need to practice.
General SAT Strategy, Part 1: Taking the Test
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.
Educator.com recommends The Official SAT Study Guide published by The College Board, the administrators of the actual SAT test. In it, you will find additional practice questions and a review of all subjects, along with 10 official SAT practice tests. Our instructors work through several of the practice tests in real time, going through their thought processes and test-taking tips.
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