Top 10 Test Taking Tips for the Digital SAT
If you’re planning to take the digital SAT, you may be seeing messages from test prep companies and others promising to reveal the “secrets” to get a good score. Here’s the good news … it’s not a secret --the SAT isn’t out to trick you.
Here are the top 10 test taking tips from College Board, the makers of the SAT:
1. Pace yourself
The test has a built-in timer, which you can show or hide based on your preference. On the Reading and Writing section, you have about 1 minute and 11 seconds per question. On the Math section, you have about 1 minute and 35 seconds per question. After about 10 minutes, you should have completed around 8 or 9 Reading and Writing questions or 6 or 7 math questions. This doesn’t mean that every question will take the same amount of time, and questions can get more difficult as you go through the test. If you find yourself spending too long on a question, use the mark for review tool and go back to it at the end.
2. Leave yourself a note
The Reading and Writing section has short passages with just 1 question per passage. As you’re reading the passage, you can use the annotation tool to highlight part of the text and leave a note to yourself to help you answer the question.
3. Don’t rely on answer choice probability or patterns
Any question could have the answer A, B, C, or D. You may have 10 A’s in a row, or no A’s at all in any set of question answers. Use the option eliminator tool to cross off options that you know are wrong to narrow down to the best choice.
4. Don’t leave questions blank
As your time is running out, make sure to go back to any questions that you skipped or marked for review. There’s no penalty for guessing, so it can only help you to choose any answer.
5. Feel free to move around within each module
Once you start a module, the questions are set and won’t change based on your answers to previous questions.
6. Do your best
Don’t spend time trying to figure out if each question is easy, medium, or hard.
7. Learn how to use the built-in Desmos graphing calculator
And take time to understand what information is included on the reference sheets in Math. If you’d prefer to bring your own approved calculator, practice with it ahead of time.
You can get used to the timing of the test, and practice with accommodations if you’ll have them on test day.
9. Focus your practice where you need it the most.
Once you take the full-length practice test, use the same login information to go to mypractice.collegeboard.org. You’ll be able to review every question, including an explanation of the correct answer. Then you can review those same questions using official digital SAT prep on Khan Academy® and get detailed lessons so that you can improve. You can also use the Skills InsightTM tool for more practice questions based on the type of question you need to practice, and the score range you’re aiming for.
10. Get a good night’s sleep the night before, eat a good breakfast, and try your best.
One last thing: If you took the digital PSAT/NMSQT or the PSAT 8/9, then you already know what to expect. As a refresher, get familiar with what’s staying the same and what’s changing with the digital SAT.