With college applications just around the corner, getting a good score on the SAT is most important now more than ever. Getting a high score on the SAT not only will make you a competitive applicant when applying to top ranked universities such as the ivy leagues, but also allows you to qualify for scholarships.
But what is the SAT?
The College Board administers the SAT, which is a standardised test that is broadly recognized for admissions in the United States. It is a three-hour-long multiple-choice test with two sections: Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.
The total score for the SAT is 1600. In order to ease your way into the ivy leagues, it is highly recommended to ensure that your SAT score is above 1450.
Unfortunately, the average score is only 1060. Most high school students take the SAT during the spring of their junior year or fall of their senior year.
However, It’s important to retake the test if you are required to increase your score before you apply to college. So, if you have already taken the SAT once or twice, you might be asking yourself, what could I have done to get a better score?
First, you need to have a target score in mind to assess just how much work you need to put in and allocate your time efficiently. Not every student is trying to apply to highly competitive universities. Second and third-tier universities do not have a high requirement for the SAT score.
So for those with a score below 1350, there are plenty of options left! The higher your SAT score is the higher your chance of receiving scholarships. Not only from universities but also from College Board.
To reduce the financial burden on students, College Board provides a scholarship opportunity that gives each student who participates a chance to earn up to $40,000.
Hence, it is always better to aim high. Acing the math section will help compensate for your weakness in other sections.
Furthermore, if you plan on applying to highly selective schools or a quantitative/ science major, your individual SAT score is taken into consideration. They expect this section to be trivially easy for you. Hence, it is important to try to get a perfect score in the SAT math section.
According to the College Board’s 2021 report, the average score in the SAT math section was 528, whereas in the evidence-based reading and writing it was 533. On average, it seems that students require more help in the math section.
Fear not. This article is your guide to absolutely crushing the SAT Math section.
Utilise SAT study materials
There are countless SAT prep books and various other resources online. These books guide you by providing tips, practice questions, reading examples and so much more. Take advantage of these SAT study materials to improve your knowledge and understanding of the test.
Practice, practice, practice!
The best and most efficient way to increase your SAT score is by taking up practice tests. Once you have familiarized yourself with the content in both math and English, it is time for you to take your pencil and start shading in some answers.
When you do this, you start to understand the type of questions that could come your way and the way the SAT is structured.It also allows you to identify your weaknesses so that you could focus on them more and turn them into strengths.
Furthermore, practicing the SAT allows you to become more time-efficient and tells you which areas you need to spend more time focusing on. Especially, when it comes to the Math section, it can be a little difficult to finish it within the time constraint.
Hence, practicing allows you to be better, even if it is only by a minute each time you take it.
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Avoid careless mistakes
Careless errors are by far the most frustrating thing on the planet. It would really hurt to find out that you lost a few points to reach your desired score because of careless errors. So, I would strongly advise you to recheck your answers, especially in the math section.
Allocate the last 5 minutes to ensure that there are no sign or number changes or any other careless error that you may have possibly made. Now, you can rest in peace (not literally).
Apart from careless mistakes, I would say not knowing a formula on the day of the test but knowing how to solve the question could be the next most frustrating thing.
While most formulas are provided to you, you should always ensure that you not only memorise but also understand them. This will allow you to apply them confidently and will save you time.
Discover your weaknesses
Don’t spend time learning and practicing the topics that you are already familiar with. Especially when it comes to the math section, most of the topics have already been dealt with at school.
Therefore, to allocate your time efficiently, focus on the topics or sections that you struggle with most, whether it be algebra or the history text in reading.
Use the Kaplan method for multi-part math questions
- Read the first question and look for clues
- Identify and organize important information
- Plan your steps
- Solve the question step by step
- Recheck if you answered the right question
- Repeat for remaining questions
Ensure that linear equations become your forte
The SAT math section not only includes direct linear equations, but also linear graphs and linear equations in word problems. Ensure that this topic is thoroughly clear to you as it forms the base of most questions so that you can move on to other topics.
If you follow these tips to get an 800 in the SAT math section, it will significantly take off your burden in getting a higher score on the English section. So, keep a calm mind during test day and knock it out of the park!