SAT Tips

Your score on standardized exams will play a large role in the admission officer’s decision to admit you into their respective college or university, so it’s important that you adequately prepare for these exams.  In this article, I’ll give you some SAT tips to help you get you fully prepared for the big day.

Tip 1:  Take the Preliminary SAT (PSAT). This is basically a practice test that will get you prepared for the SAT.  It’s a shorter version of the exam, but it will provide you with an opportunity to practice questions in a real live testing environment and give you an idea of the types of questions that will be on the actual exam.  The PSAT will test you in the following areas:

  • Critical reading skills
  • Math problem solving skills
  • Writing skills

Although this exam won’t count towards your college admissions, you should take it relatively serious to get the most out of it.  Find out more information about the PSAT by clicking here.

The PSAT will also qualify you for the National Merit Scholarship Program.  This gives you another reason to really try to do your best on the exam.  Everyone can use a little help on those college tuition costs. You can learn more about the National Merit Scholarship Program by clicking here.

Tip 2:  Registration. Most students take the SAT in the spring of their junior year.  The first testing opportunity is usually held sometime in March.  Visit the College Board Website to find out when test dates are being offered in your area.  You can also register at that website as well.

At a minimum, it’s a good idea to pick a test date that is at least 2 months in advance of the application deadlines of all the colleges and scholarship agencies that you might want to apply to.

Tip 3:  SAT Test Preparation. I have a ton of SAT tips to help prepare you for the big day.  By no means do I expect you to utilize all of these methods, but I did want to provide you with a comprehensive list of suggestions so that you could pick the one that best fits your learning style. 

SAT Test Prep Courses. There are a lot of SAT prep courses available that you can register for.  Although the material on this exam may be familiar to you based on what you’ve learned thus far in your high school courses, the presentation and testing format may be entirely new to you.  This will be especially true for students who did not opt to take the PSAT.  Your school may offer some SAT prep courses or you can visit the following websites to find out more information on prep courses in your area:.

1. Kaplan

2. The Princeton Review

3. Sylvan Learning Center

Free Online Resources. In addition to the items listed above, there are also a lot of online resources that are available for you.  You can download free practice questions at: CollegeBoard – SAT Practice

In addition, there are a lot of online videos that you can watch for free that will give you a lot of SAT tips and strategies.  I’ve included a few of these below:



Purchase SAT Review Books. You can purchase a SAT review book at your local bookstore or on  This method of study will be less expensive and allow you more flexibility, as opposed to having to be present in a classroom.  However, this method will also require you to be more disciplined.

  • The Official ACT Study Guide – by The College Board
  • Barron’s SAT – by Sharon Weiner Green M.A. and Ira K. Wolf Ph.D.
  • Gruber’s Complete SAT Guide – by Gary R. Gruber
  • Kaplan SAT 2010 Edition: Strategies, Practice, and Review – by Kaplan

Tip 4: Get Enough Sleep. You want to make sure that you get enough sleep on the night before the exam.  If you’ve followed all the tips above, then you can rest assured that you’re just as prepared (if not more prepared) then the rest of your peers.  You should aim for at least 8 hours of sleep and make sure that you eat breakfast before heading off to take the exam.

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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