1. Prepare early and effectively
First, set up your SAT Online Account. Then find SAT prep that’s fun, engaging, and effective. Not all test prep is created equal, so do the research. Read reviews, and look past flashy(bogus) guarantees. Try the OnToCollege Free SAT Prep Trial.
2. Practice often
Consistent test-taking practice has shown to be one of the best ways to increase your SAT scores. Make sure to use actual SAT practice tests to understand the test format and to learn how to manage your time and energy.
- Often your school counselor or local library will have copies to share, or you can purchase the Official Digital SAT Study Guide for less than $30.
- Join our free OnToCollege Live! Online Help sessions on the Friday evening before every national SAT date.
- But don’t wait to prep the night before! OnToCollege online classes are available on your schedule for a full year or as a Boot Camp in the weeks before the test.
3. Use the practice tests
The SAT has two sections: Reading & Writing and Math. The total time for the new Digital SAT is 134 minutes, not including a 10-minute break. The SAT Essay is 50 minutes long but is only available on School Day tests in some states.
First, do one section at a time for the prescribed time: (Reading & Writing: one 32-minute module at a time; Math: one 35-minute module at a time. Then, after each section, immediately correct your answers for that one section. Seek to understand all of your guesses and mistakes. The key here is to learn from your mistakes before attacking the next section.
4. Take the SAT three to four times
Thoughtfully select your SAT Test dates that work best with your family, school, and extra-curricular commitments (2024 Digital SAT Test Dates). Some states mandate the SAT be taken by all public high school juniors.
After taking the PSAT in October of junior year, students should take the SAT three to four times. Few students get their best score on the first (or even second) try. So, take the test twice during your junior year and twice in the fall of your senior year. Get your best score, and increase your chances of potential scholarships and financial aid!
Colleges don’t care how many times students take the SAT. However, December of your senior year is usually the last test date colleges will accept scores for scholarship consideration. Check with your preferred colleges.
Students who are solid test-takers, especially those who have previously taken the SAT and scored 1350 or above before their junior year, should sign up for the October Junior Year PSAT, which can earn you eligibility for National Merit Scholarships. Register for the PSAT with your high school counselor.
Most colleges superscore the SAT, taking the highest section scores, even if they occur on different test dates. Check out this site: SAT Superscore.
5. Reduce your test anxiety
Practice, practice, practice so you are prepared and confident when test day arrives. Treat each practice test session as a real test day. Remove all distractions. Use a reliable timer. Stay focused. No food, no breaks, no phone.
- Learn which relaxation techniques–such as deep breathing–work for you.
- Finally, treat your SAT Test Prep as you would a part-time job. Put the time and energy into improving your SAT Test Score—the best-paying job you’ll ever have!
- OnToCollege’s online SAT Prep course is fun, engaging, and effective, providing all the strategies, practice tests, and solution videos you need to MAX your score. Let’s do this—and have some fun as we jump your score.
Have more questions about the SAT? Check out The Definitive Guide to the SAT 2024