Not happy with your SAT score? Planning to take the second attempt?
If yes, then firstly you need to tell yourself that YOU CAN DO IT!
Just start afresh. One to two months of dedicated preparation can make your score sky-rocket. We are not trying to paint a rosy picture here but just stating facts. It is possible; we know students who made the score improvement of 1100/1600 to 1540/1600 in three months.
So, how to go about it?
Firstly, ask yourself– What more could you have done in order to obtain a score more than your previous score? Justify your score and then work towards improving it. You always know where you messed up was it inadequate practice, did you rush through the concepts, or was it the time constraint? Whatever it was, you need to detect and hence rectify it. Remember SAT needs attention. There is no shortcut.
Plan your study schedule a bit more seriously. Take help from teachers, friends, mentors etc. and redefine your strategy.
Adopt a streamlined approach. If you know your weak area is reading, then we suggest you take up the SAT Writing and Language section first. It is easier to score in the SAT grammar section than in the reading section. Go through all the SAT grammar rules and then start taking the 35 minutes sectional-practice tests from official sources. Set a target score of 40/44. Keep taking practice tests until you get a 40/44.
Once you start getting a consistent score of 40 or above- which is not that tough btw- you can start with the SAT reading. SAT Reading needs an understanding of the question types and the nature of the passages. Identify the question type that you are unable to understand- Supporting evidence, graphical analysis, Main idea or vocabulary-in-context. Stress on the weak areas. Understand the kind of answers the SAT expects from you. Once you do that, SAT Reading is not that tough a section. The key is in-depth analysis together with rigorous practice. You should set your target score of 45/52 in the reading section. Keep taking the 65-minute sectional tests until you get this score.
Once you get a hang of the SAT English sections, it is time to concentrate on SAT Math. Identify the topics that you are weak in questions/concepts you always mess up. Once you figure those out, it is time to give them special attention. Revisit those concepts, solve a few questions and get the concepts right. Make sure you are well acquainted with the use of calculators. You can save a lot of time, and energy and reduce the probability of committing silly mistakes if you know how to use the calculator correctly. Set a target score of 17/20 and 31/38 in the two respective math sections. Keep taking sectional practice tests until you reach this score.
Finally, after achieving the target scores in each section of the SAT, it is time to start taking the full-length tests. Take up to 6 full-length tests from the official College Board site. After each test, analyse your performance-figuring out where you went wrong, what concepts that need a revisit, identifying the silly mistakes etc. This analysis will help you rectify your errors and ensure that you don’t repeat those mistakes. It is like killing a bug- you find one, you work towards removing it and ultimately you eliminate it.
All in all, you need some dedication and practice coupled with a self-analysis of your test performance. Once that is brought into practice, you will see a significant increase in your score. So, stop thinking and start working NOW!