Benefits of Taking SAT Practice Tests

When it comes to the SAT, you can never have enough practice under your belt. The SAT is totally different from the typical exams high school students are accustomed to taking in the classroom. Therefore, one of the absolute best ways to excel on the SAT is by taking SAT practice exams. It’s that simple. As students gain more exposure to the SAT question types and become comfortable with the specific format, the higher they will score on test day.

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Time management is probably something we could all afford to work on. Even for those who are extremely bright and familiarized with the SAT format, timing often appears to be an issue on this standardized test. Most students who have taken the SAT admit to running out of time during the exam or having to rush through the last few questions of a section. The truth is that the SAT test-makers allot you barely enough time to complete the assessment in its entirety. The most important reason to take SAT practice tests is that you will learn how to pace yourself and realize which sections require more time than others. 

Overall, there are hundreds of vocabulary terms out there classified as “SAT words.” It would be a tremendously challenging and impractical task to try to memorize every vocabulary word that has ever appeared on the SAT. You may want to take a look at these SAT flashcards that can help you study. Even the most skilled SAT test-takers probably don’t know every definition. By taking practice tests, you will notice which vocabulary words appear more frequently than others. You should write down the words that you encounter over and over again; your time is best spent learning the words that pop up most often, rather than learning words that have only shown up a few times in the history of the SAT. You may also want to take a look at this information on how the SAT is scored.       

The Critical Reading section of the SAT can be problematic for a variety of reasons. The type of reading that this test requires is much different from the type of reading we do in the classroom and at home, where there’s no ticking timer and we have dictionaries at our disposal. Considering the limited time you will have on the SAT, the most you can typically hope for is a very basic understanding of the passages. Don’t get hung up on technical details like dates, names, and words you haven’t seen before. If these details are relevant, it’s likely that the questions will indicate the exact line in which they’re used. It’s important to remember that you don’t gain points simply for reading the passage thoroughly; you only gain points for correctly answering the questions about it. Practice tests will allow you to rehearse this aspect of reading comprehension necessary for succeeding on the exam. 

When you take SAT practice tests, online or in prep books, you will become better aware of the types of questions that the test utilizes. For instance, the Critical Reading section contains questions that ask about the chronology of events, tone, inferences, vocabulary in context, etc. The wording of the questions may vary, but you can bet that the SAT will contain questions that test these concepts. The test-makers come up with a diverse collection of ways to ask about the same idea – questions like, “Which of these statements would the author agree with?” and “What can be concluded from the passage?” are both questions of the inference type. The more you take SAT practice tests, the better you will become at figuring out what the questions are truly asking.       

Although the questions may be different each time you take the SAT, the format is consistent. The more you work through SAT practice tests, the more familiar you will be with how the exam is laid out as well as with the principles it tests. If you decide to commit to taking SAT practice tests in your spare time, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor. Familiarity eases anxiety and increases performance.

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