Hello! This is the first in a series of posts about making the SAT your b*tch! This point is about
- general test prep tips
- tips for test day
- helpful online resources
- best test prep book
ONE // General Test Prep Tips
- Take practice tests routinely and often. The more exposure you get to the test, the better. If you can’t dedicate 4 consecutive hours of your day to taking a practice exam, try taking just the math sections one day and the English sections another day.
- Make a master list of all the questions you’ve gotten wrong so that you can review them later and identify weak spots.
TWO // Tips for Test Day
- When testing, make sure you bring at least a 32 oz water bottle and high quality snacks.
- Pack your bag the night before. Make sure you include: your test ID, student (school) ID, at least 5 sharpened pencils, pencil sharpener, and eraser.
- Make sure your calculator is on the College Board (yuck!) list of approved calculators.
- Make sure you have your printed admissions ticket and valid school ID (it must be from the current school year or the year before if you’re taking the test before December of the new school year).
- Pick out your clothes the night before. I like to wear comfortable but still nice clothes.
This is literally what I wore to take the SAT. Nothing special. I wore that were clothes that I had owned for YEARS. I have to say, I love the jeans I wore – they are real jeans, but they have a super comfy elastic waistband. I LOVE THEM. You’ll thank me later. Also, this shirt I got from GAP is the comfiest shirt I own. It’s the perfect combination of thick but not heavy and still maintaining a nice stretch. This shirt is literally perfect – you should buy it in every color!
THREE // Helpful Websites for SAT Prep
I highly recommend this website. Super informative and helpful! I really can’t say enough good things about him. He teaches a lot of strategies that you’d typically only learn from expensive test prep companies. Also, there are plenty of worksheets on his website that you can access for free!
Everyone knows and loves Khan Academy. For SAT Prep, Khan Academy is great for two kinds of people. One, people who need a lot of help to learn the actual content on that is assessed on the SAT. Two, people who already learned the content in school and just need to be able to do it faster and with greater accuracy. If you fall out of these two categories, Khan Academy isn’t going to cover the bulk of your needs. Also, Khan Academy doesn’t teach test strategies.
This is a really cool website that is all about how to succeed on standardized tests in high school, college, and grad school. Honestly, I didn’t use their website too much to study for the SAT, but I found it really helpful for the AP Chem exam. They do put together really useful study timelines and study guides that I think are pretty helpful.
FOUR // The Best Test Prep Books
If I could recommend only one book to buy, it would be this one. I’d recommend buying this book because I didn’t need new test taking strategies since I had a private tutor and attended an SAT prep course. However, I still think the test taking strategies are super helpful and worth it! Also, it comes with 8 full-length practice tests. This book also reviews the format and mechanics of the test. You can access the official SAT practice tests on Khan Academy anyway.
This is just a really big book with 8 full-length SAT exams in it. You can access these EXACT same exams on Khan Academy too, so keep that in mind too. This book does walk you through each section of the test and its format. It also gives practice questions for each section of the test.
This book has 10 full length practice tests. I really appreciate that each problem comes with a detailed explanation. I don’t think this one includes the test taking strategies like the other Princeton Review book mentioned above.