10 Basic Tips for the SAT

The following are basic tips for students (and parents) preparing for the SAT.  These nine items are essential.

1.   When you don't know the right answer to a multiple choice question, look for the wrong answers and eliminate.

2.   If you are stumped and you can eliminate at least two answers, guess.  Don't worry about the wrong answer penalty--the odds will work out in your favor.

3.  Use the test booklet for scratch papers.  Don't be afraid to write on the test booklet.

4.  Grid in your answers 5 questions at a time--not one at a time and not all at once at the very end.

5.  The first 1/3 of the questions tend to be easy; the second 1/3 tend to be medium in difficulty; the last 1/3 tend to be hard.

      Exception:  Reading Comprehension Passages--questions are asked chronologically, following the narrative of the passage.

6.  Focus your energy on easy and medium questions.

7.   If you find that you have a hard time finishing a section, don't rush to finish.  Instead, cut your losses and sacrifice the last few questions (which are the hardest ones in any case) for the easier ones.  All the questions are worth the same.

8.  When guessing on the hard questions toward the end, don't pick the answer that seems right.  The hard questions are designed to trick the average student.




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