right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

How can I improve my SAT score by 200+ points within one month of preparation?

NoratheMoraNoratheMora 7 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
I currently own Princeton Review 2019 Edition and Barron's New SAT 500 flashcards. I ordered the SAT Black Book, Dr. Jang's SAT Math Workbook, 28 New SAT Math Lessons to Improve Your Score in One Month, and The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar Workbook by Erica L Meltzer which they will be arriving in January. How should I use these books effectively and are these books good for self-studying? I just started studying and I'm using Khan Academy and the two I own so far but midterms are coming up pretty soon so I only have one month of studying before the March SAT. Is this enough? How many hours should I study?
3 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: How can I improve my SAT score by 200+ points within one month of preparation?

  • LindagafLindagaf 9134 replies492 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The best way to raise your score that much is to not take the test in March. You don’t have enough time. Take it in May or June.
    · Reply · Share
  • SoccerMomGenieSoccerMomGenie 189 replies13 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I'm an SAT tutor. I agree with Lindagaf that it's a huge ask to improve your score by that much in one month. It's not likely to happen. But I don't see any harm in taking the SAT in March, even if you don't yet reach your full potential, because most colleges have Score Choice and Super Scoring. If nothing else, the March test will give you experience and comfort with the test. Very rough rule of thumb -- that kind of score improvement will likely take 30-60 hours of smart, dedicated prep. If you only have one month, that means 1-2 hours of prep each and every day. What do I mean by smart, dedicated prep? I've answered that question in detail elsewhere in this forum. Also, there are long posts on the Xiggi method here and elsewhere online that are fantastic. The basic approach is to do the official practice tests (there are 8 of them) published by the College Board. Buy the book, about $16 on amazon.com. They are far, far superior to anything produced by Barron's or Princeton Review or anyone else. You don't have to do the entire test at a time -- just do a section at a time (25-65 minutes per section). Treat it as the official test -- strictly time yourself, use a number 2 pencil, use the bubble sheets, write your work in your test booklet. Put a question mark next to every question that you're not 100% sure you got right. Then when you're done you do a DEEP ANALYSIS of each problem you got wrong or had a question mark next to it. This is where you use your materials. Unfortunately, you got the wrong grammar book -- you want the Meltzer Grammar Guide, not the Workbook. The Guide explains the grammar rules and gives in depth explanations; the Workbook just gives extra practice tests, which are not needed. I've reviewed many, many SAT prep books. My favorite math prep book by far is PWN the SAT Math, by Mike McClenathan. But you can probably get away with what you have. I kinda like the Black Book for Reading. Princeton Review is probably good for math. Meltzer Guide is best for grammar. Let's say you make an error on a question regarding exponents. You want to figure out how to do that particular problem correctly, but more important, you want to review the concepts and rules regarding exponents. Use Khan Academy or some of your many resources. Your goal is to slowly but surely turn each weakness into a strength. The only way to do this is to keep track of all errors and review them frequently. I have my students create a looseleaf notebook where they re-write each problem they got wrong and then review that notebook at least weekly. You have to also pay attention to non-content, attention-to-detail type errors; they are just as important as errors due to failure to know how to do the math. Pay attention and find ways to eliminate those kinds of errors. It's a lot of work, but it's very doable. Btw, I generally don't recommend reading these prep books cover to cover -- just use them to get explanations for the concepts you need review with. Exception is that it's worth working the Meltzer Guide cover to cover. It's manageable, and the concepts will help not just with the SAT but with writing for school and the rest of your life, and I've seen students make significant improvements in the grammar section after doing so. Good luck!
    · Reply · Share
  • wantsuccesswantsuccess 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    edited August 14
    You probably need two to three months to really see a big improvement like that. I was able to get a lot better at the SAT in only about two-three months of effort. I took the SAT in 2014, so this advice might not apply to today's SAT fully. My PSAT score indicated I would get a ~1900/2400, but I ended up scoring 2330/2400 when I took the SAT in June of my junior year (the only time I took the test). I was able to get into Dartmouth with that SAT score and I ended up attending Dartmouth. I took a Princeton Review course where I met at a local college once a week. The course had a review book that went over all SAT math concepts and types of problems. I thought the review book was quite helpful for the math section as the problems on the SAT math section were often a little different than the problems I saw in my Algebra 1 Integrated Algebra class (e.g. SAT remainder problems), so it was helpful to get a chance to focus on solving each type of problem. For the other sections of the SAT, it seemed like there was no material to study, doing well on the critical reading and writing sections just required intuition and practice. So I did not attend the latter two thirds of the Princeton Review course as it focused on the reading and writing sections. As per recommendations from other College Confidential posts, I ended up purchasing the College Reviews offical SAT book with 10 practice SATs. Rather than doing each SAT in full, I did a few SAT sections at a time, focusing on improving in one area. For example, one Saturday I did three SAT critical reading sections. After each section I stopped, corrected my work, and tried to read solutions for each problem to understand why I was right or wrong. Before doing another critical reading section I reviewed all my notes and comments from every single SAT critical section. I timed every section I did as I thought it was essential for me to get a feel for the pace of the test. After a while I think this focus on reviewing all the questions I got wrong in each section helped me build an intuition for what answers would be right in each SAT question.
    edited August 14
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity