Note: It would be helpful to refer to the beginner’s guide to both the SAT and the ACT before continuing with this more detailed article on the SAT.
Many universities ask for SAT or ACT scores and even if it is not compulsory, a good score can boost your chances of acceptance. I prepared for the SAT for a few months and gave my first test in December (of 2020) scoring a decent 1460, out of 1600. After speaking with many top scorers on how they prepared for their exams, I made a combined list of the best resources you could use, as well as the best ways you could prepare yourself for the SAT.
1. Use Khan Academy
The website has free access to many useful practice questions. When you first log in, you should take one of the 8 official practice tests just to see where you stand and so you can monitor your progress over time. I suggest taking Practice Test 1 before doing anything so you can identify your strengths and weaknesses. After identifying your weaknesses, start working on the individual sections on Khan Academy to improve them. You should keep going until all your individual skills are at the highest level. It should look something like the pictures below.
After doing so, start working on the rest of the practise tests and then go back to work on the mistakes you’ve made. You should also print off a few practice tests as well as SAT answer sheets, to then work on it as if you were in a real test centre (to give yourself a more authentic experience). For example, when giving the real test, circling in your answers is more time consuming than simply clicking the right answer with your mouse, therefore, practising with printed sheets will prepare you for the real test.
2. Use YouTube Videos to understand concepts
Watch Youtube videos that can help you remember concepts in both the Reading and Writing sections as well as the Math section. For example, Veritas Prep College has some very good videos on the key concepts tested on the SAT.
3. SAT Prep Books
If you’d like, you can also buy some SAT prep books. These can teach you some vital tips and tricks.
a. The Official SAT 2020. This book is good for some basic tips and covers the structure of the exam. It also includes all 8 practice tests so you can practice these instead of printing them out yourself.
b. The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar by Erica L. Meltzer is great if you’re a little weak in the writing section of the SAT. You can also buy her book on the SAT reading if you find that you want to improve that section.
c. There are many other helpful books out there like The Princeton Review and College Panda, which you can check out. You can also do a bit more research on these types of prep books if you find that books help you learn a lot.
4. Blogs by Prep Scholar
They have many articles filled with useful tips and tricks that can help you improve your accuracy on the SAT. Here’s one of their articles: The 23 SAT Tips and Tricks You Must Use. You can also check out their advice on individual sections of the exam. Beginners can read How to improve SAT scores in each section while those who are ready and are a little more confident based on their little practice can read How to get 800 on each SAT section.
In conclusion, there are countless resources you’ll find out there but remember that your score will reflect the level of hard work you put into preparing for the exam. And don’t worry if you don’t get the score you wanted, you can always write the exam again! You can also choose to switch to the ACT if that suits you better. Just make sure to work hard and give it your best!