Questions? Call Us   
 Subject Tutoring
 SAT Test Prep
About SAT
Strategies and Tips
SAT Test Dates
Test taking Strategies & Tips
Before the Tests
During the Tests
Critical Reading - Sentence Completion
Critical Reading - Reading Comprehension
Critical Reading - Analogy based questions
Writing ?Usage, Sentence Correction and Paragraph Correction
Writing ?Essay
Math - Student Produced Response (Grid)
Math ?Multiple Choice Questions
Before the Tests
  • It is important to understand the structure of the test including section types, format, and question layout. Familiarize yourself with the following ahead of time-
  • Instructions
  • Sections & topics covered
  • Scoring
  • Time restrictions
  • Learn the directions of the test prior to the test date as this will save you precious time during the test.
  • Familiarize yourself with the answer sheets for -
  • Multiple choice
  • Grid in
  • Though calculator is not necessary, use of one is recommended. Make sure your calculator is working properly and that it will not run out of power.
    During the Tests
  • Attempt easy questions first.
  • Mark unanswered questions clearly as you go along to avoid wasting time searching for them when you are ready to tackle them.
  • Eliminate obvious wrong choices by crossing them out in the test book and then guess to increase odds of getting the correct answer.
  • If some answer seems obvious, think through and look for traps and verify that no wrong assumptions have been made.
  • Use process of elimination in multiple choice questions to narrow down the number of possible answers.
  • Omit questions that you have no idea about. If you can eliminate at least two of the answer choices, try to guess the answer. Answering only half the test correctly will get you average score.
  • Manage time wisely. All questions are worth 1 point. In most sections the questions get harder as you go along. Do not waste excessive time answering the hard questions at the end of the sections, instead use the time in making sure the earlier questions are answered correctly.
  • Use question book for rough work when needed.
  • Always keep track of time. Do not get stuck on a question. Always check your work if you have completed the test ahead of time.
  • Make sure to fill your answer in the correct section and number on the answer sheet. For some students it saves time by filling the answer sheet in groups of 5 questions.
    Critical Reading - Sentence Completion
  • Try completing sentence with words that make sense to you prior to looking at the given choices.
  • Give importance to precise meaning of words as it relates to the sentence.
  • Try substituting words in the blanks.
  • Clues for correct answer can be found by looking for transitional or signal words such as ? although, like, likewise, instead of, but, yet, however - to name a few that relate different sections of a sentence to each other.
  • For sentence that show contrast between ideas, think of antonym or near antonym for a word of the sentence to identify the correct answer.
  • Look for familiar parts of a word like prefixes, suffixes and roots to either get the correct answer or to eliminate choices.
  • If you are unfamiliar with words, try either using the context or breaking them down to recognizable parts.
  • In double-blank sentences, eliminate wrong answers by testing the first word of each choice.
    Critical Reading - Reading Comprehension
  • Follow the authors reasoning by reading the passage closely with emphasis on attitude, tone and manner of writing.
  • Look for answers based on what is stated or implied in the passage.
  • Do not waste time memorizing the passage.
  • Try reading the passage before the questions. Although for some students reading the questions first to get a sense of what the passage is about helps them identify what to look for. See what works for you while doing practice tests.
  • First answer questions based on parts of passage that you understand and then attempt the rest.
  • When passages are given in pairs, read the introduction to see how they are related.
  • Save time by using line reference numbers which appear in the question.
    Critical Reading - Analogy based questions
  • Capitalized words are usually clearly linked. Give more emphasis on relationships between capitalized words rather than only on their meaning. Eliminate words that may be slightly or vaguely linked.
  • In case you are looking for meaning do not just go for one meaning as there are many meanings of a word.
  • Look for connection of grammatical nature between capitalized words. If the capitalized words are a verb and a noun then the answer pair will also be a verb and a noun.
  • Create a sentence that confirms the relationship between the capitalized words. Correct answer pair must follow the same relationship behavior.
  • Mull over all given choices as some may be more logical and better than other credible choices.
  • When practicing give emphasis to understanding rather than memorizing basic analogy types.
    Writing ?Usage, Sentence Correction and Paragraph Correction
  • Read passage quickly for general idea and tone then read the question and reread the relevant portion.
  • Make sure to read the questions carefully to identify error or errors.
  • Make a guess on corrections.
  • Usage and sentence correction questions are based on individual sentences and test for basic grammar, word choice and sentence structure.
  • Be careful of answer choices that may introduce new errors.
    Writing ?Essay
  • Keep the essay to about 300 ?400 words. Try using all the space given for writing.
  • Focus on creating a well organized essay with fully developed ideas.
  • Think for 2 minutes before you start writing and use scratch paper to organize thoughts before starting to write.
  • Keep writing clear and tangible. Small writing will also help conserves space.
  • Get the reader interested by either stating a fact or posing a question in the introduction.
  • Try not to restate the same topic over and over again.
  • Try using examples from literature or history.
  • Stay with the topic and keep your essay simple rather than complex.
  • Use a few big words in the beginning and the end of essay.
  • If you have time review the essay and look for minor grammatical or spelling errors. See if you can change a few words or make better sentences.
    Math ?Student Produced Response (Grid)
  • For the grid-in section there is no penalty for wrong answers, so guess your answer when you are not sure.
  • Answers do not have to be in fractions, enter equivalent decimals as it will save time.
  • Negative numbers are not possible as answers in this section. If your answer comes up negative, do it again.
  • Answers should not be entered as mixed numbers. As an example 1 1/5 must be entered either as 1.20 or 6/5.
  • Do not grid in your answer unless it is your final answer. Improperly erasing can be picked by scoring machine as an intended answer. Columns not needed should be left blank.
  • Though it is not required, to avoid errors and help in rechecking your answers, it is recommended that you write in your answer in the box above the columns. Credit is only given when answer is bubbled in.
  • To save time and reduce errors, be consistent in the methodology of gridding. It is recommended that you start from the leftmost column. If your answer is 0 then it must be started with the 2nd column as it has been omitted from first column to improve accuracy in values. If your answer is less than 0 and if you do not wish to enter it as a fraction then start in the first column with the decimal. For example if your answer is 2/3 you can also enter it as .666 or .667 rather than 0.6 which is less accurate.
    Math ?Multiple Choice Questions
  • Read the question carefully and pay importance to what is being asked.
  • Check your answer and make sure it is reasonable.
  • You do not need to memorize formulas as they are provided in the test book but learn in advance all of the critical definitions, formulas, and concepts that appear in common questions.
  • Use the test booklet for scratch work and to mark up any graphs or drawings.
  • Geometric figures in the test booklet are usually drawn to scale unless indicated otherwise.
  • For some problems it is helpful to sketch the information given so as to understand the question asked.
  • Early questions in these sections are easy and level of difficulty increases gradually. Spend less time on the early questions so as to have enough time for the harder questions that have more traps that need to be avoided.
  • Avoid wasting times by looking for a trick or a shortcut. Do not waste time getting carried away with too many calculations.
  • When a question contains a weird symbol, just substitute the accompanying definition when figuring out the best answer choice.
  • When variables are involved in questions involving comparing quantities the answer can be a fraction, negative number or zero.