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increase SAT score by 300-400 points?

weightlessweightless Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
edited January 2014 in SAT Preparation
hopefully I posted this in the right place...I lurk around a lot but I have never posted before OTL

To get to the point, my SAT score is a 1660. I'm really upset with myself about that, but I sucked it up and now I'm going to study like a madwoman. I want to get a 1900-2000. I know the score increase is hard, but I am seriously willing to work for it. I didn't sign up for any tests yet and I'm a junior, so there is no super urgent time period ("I have to get a 400 point increase in two months!")

The breakdown:
Critical Reading: 520
Math: 580
Writing: 560 (11 on essay)

background information that you might not really need to know:
I took this SAT in December. I'll be honest, I didn't study for it. The most prep I did was go to a summer class from July-August that did practically nothing for me (my SAT score went up around 50 points in that class...and I'm not even sure if it was thanks to that class because the teachers were horrible). Since I get As and high Bs in honors/AP classes I thought I was totally prepared. Clearly, I was wrong.

I am currently taking a Princeton Review course (so I have the PR 11 SATs and SAT manual) and own the blue book, barron's writing workbook, barron's critical reading workbook, and various practice SATs that I collected from my friends and free SAT pratice pamphlets. My cousin gave my the SATII math I and math II books from barron's so I just use them to study for math. I have to real plan going right now with the books, I just do them whenever I have free time.

I know that having a score increase is hard, but I am really willing to put in work. Please suggest ideas and give me plenty of suggestions/tips/tricks! I am willing to try anything out. If possible, after writing out your plan, suggest when I should take my next SAT (after following _____ method, try taking the June SAT, etc)

Thank you!
Post edited by weightless on

Replies to: increase SAT score by 300-400 points?

  • jimmypodjimmypod - Posts: 303 Member
    The blue book, Direct Hits v1andv2, Silverturtle's Guide to SAT (writing), and Dr. Chung's guide to SAT math is all you need.

    The blue book is essentially the most important tool in your arsenal.

    I would also recommend Simon's Saga (for more SAT vocab). I don't see it mentioned much on this website, but the book is VERY good. Of course, I would recommend reading it AFTER you finish direct hits (also takes some time to read). Princeton Review Hit Parade in case you are short on time and just finished Direct Hits.
  • supinesupine Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    You don't really need a course to improve if you're that motivated. Courses are most beneficial for people who wouldn't know how to prepare otherwise. I took a course and blew it off. I went from 1830 to 1910. I self-studied for the next ten days and jumped to 2150. It'll be relatively easier to get from 1660 to 2000 than from a 2150 to a 2300, simply because the points cost more as you go on up. You've got all your resources at your fingertips.
    Do as you're doing, and don't forget to read all the guides on CC.
    Writing is easy if you enjoy reading in your spare time and have picked up on arcane grammar rules over the years. Most of my preparation was done through reading during nutrition and lunch in middle school, but my tenth-grade teacher actually helped a lot to educate me on everything else.
    Reading is learning how to read in the style of the testmaker. You've got to get used to the nuances and understand that every answer will be supported by the text. Every answer. Even inferences. My dad's old Princeton Review GMAT book helped me a lot in that area, because ETS makes both the SAT and GMAT. For vocabulary, I use Direct Hits, but I've also learned roots of words, which help the most.
    Math...I'll leave that for someone else to answer, because I'm still not as good in math as I'd like to be. Everything you'll ever need to know for the SAT Math section has been covered in Alg 2/Geometry, but it's just the issue of timing that gets me. In most cases, if I'd have gotten a minute or two more, I would have been able to solve the last two hard problems.
    Persist, work hard, don't get frustrated. You'll get there eventually.
  • weightlessweightless Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    I took a course because I was afraid I was going to lose motivation like I did over the summer. Even if I get tired, I'll still have to go to class, but hopefully that doesn't happen and the SAT becomes part of my natural studying routine (after two weeks, it still isn't, but I'm trying!)

    I haven't done grammar books since sixth grade. All my English classes since then were to just write essays and look over them and learn. I still make many of the same mistakes, and I only realize what the red marks mean now that I look over my writing workbook (which is really bad since I'm in AP lang/comp and I should seriously know better)

    I really do love reading though, I'm actually vice president of a book club at my school. I heard reading stuff like the NY times/ wall street journal helps, but I've never been too interested in the news so I lose interest and end up staring at my computer screen for a few minutes only to realize that I didn't read the article at all. I guess the only way for me is memorizing vocabulary and roots.

    but wow supine, 1830 to 2150 in just a few days? I guess I'll take a blue book test tomorrow and study the entire week and take another one next monday and see how much I improved.

    Thanks everyone!
  • supinesupine Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    @weightless, the jump was because I had finally found a motivating factor. My parents had promised me that if I jumped to 2200, they would take me to the modeling agency interview I had gotten. I was fifty darned points off, but in those ten days I took two practice tests a day. It was during the summer so I'd only poke my head out of my cave every once in a while for food and stuff. Maybe set yourself a personal reward for every hundred points gained?

    Oh, and I take APUSH. Only recently have I started reading The Enduring Vision, and I can't believe how many great words are in the text.
  • weightlessweightless Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    I take APUSH too! I used The Enduring Vision last year (sophomore) in honors (no AP) US1 (everything up to WWI) and this year in AP US2 (WWII-current), we use A People & A Nation.

    I'm not sure if your school divides it up, I have a friend who moved to another town tell ne that they didn't do that over there, so I just wanted to clarify.

    I have to say that I absolutely hated taking notes out of The Enduring Vision since it goes into detail about a lot of minor things that weren't on exams OTL

    Also, I picked up a copy of Direct Hits :D I skimmed through it and it looks like it be more helpful than the usual vocab lists included in my reading workbooks
  • iBuriedPauliBuriedPaul Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    In 4 months I was able to go from an 800 combined score for two Subject Tests and an approx. 1200 combined SAT score to almost 1500 on the Subject Tests and 2200 on the main test, all with school and work obligations. All you have to do it want it and practice, practice, practice.

  • IATROGIATROG Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Without a doubt, you can increase your SAT score. Whoever tells you you can't tell them to KYA (kiss your a**). The first time I took the SAT was in January and I got a 1290...Yes a 1290. The second time I took the SAT in June, I scored a 2000 exact. My Critical Reading, Math, and Writing were 660, 610, 730, respectively. NOW THE QUESTION IS HOW IN THE HELL DID I DO THAT?

    Did I cheat?????

    The number one mistake to do while taking the SAT is to cheat. Why? When you try to cheat, you feel the need to wait until the person bubbles the answer sheet so you could look over while the proctor is not looking and copy. YES, the SAT is the same for everyone in the room, however, the sections are mixed up. So if you think you can cheat the SAT....HA. Think Again. What you don't realize is that this is a timed test, so say there was a math question that was super easy for you and hard for the other person, you lose 1 point right there. MY ADVICE IS TAKE THE TEST...YES i know you want to go to Harvard, Yale, Cal Tech, Stanford, or whatever Ivy league, but keep in mind that SAT SCORE IS NOT THE ONLY THING THAT THESE SCHOOLS LOOK AT! My friend got a 2380, and did not get accepted to Harvard, because he did not have anything that stands out.

    NOW....How to increase your scores by a huge amount....

    -If you are the person that does not like reading, please stop and look at another thread.
    Reading is the number one way to increase both the Critical Reading and Writing. Now, I do not mean read a book like The Great Gatsby. You should read challenging books that have difficult vocabulary. This will help on the sentence completion. To improve writing...simple...write. Yes, it can be tiring, boring, and a waste of time, but writing helps with writing. What I used to do was to read the newspaper--College Board gets the passages from newspapers because they know high school students do not read newspapers-I would stop, think to myself, what is the author trying to say (THEME). Then i would write a page and let my English paper check it. I would use SAT VOCAB words to improve my vocabulary. Also, for writing, read!!!!
    -Many of my friends ask me what I did, and I SAY READ! READ! READ!
    -While you are reading if you do not know a word, do not just skip it. Stop. Get a Dictionary, and look its definition up.
    -Also there is no way you can memorize 5,000 words. The best way to memorize words is by learning prefix suffix. You will be surprised on how many words you can crack with just knowing prefix suffix.
    -For the math part of the SAT, keep in mind, every problem can be solved without a CALCULATOR. The wording is the only thing that makes it difficult for us high school kids.
    I rose my math score by using the Princeton Review Book and the Blue College Board book.

    Due to time, I really want to emphasize one thing. PRACTICE. The more you practice the more your score will increase. It takes commitment. If you really want to increase your score, then do it. God will not make a miracle happen and suddenly you will get a 2400. Also, keep in mind that if you are scoring in the 2000 range...it's really hard to boost your score.

    -The books I recommend are COLLEGE BOARD BLUE BOOK, PRINCETON REVIEW, AND 2400 EXPERT.....GO to local library and get practice SAT Tests and do them. First, take a diagnostic test and see where you stand. Then do what I told you and I promise you the score you want can happen. Read the blue book and Princeton like 2 times each, and DON"T GIVE UP! I SPENT MY 6 MONTHS STUDYING AND MY SAT SCORE WENT UP BY 710... I really recommend this strategy...

    Thank You for Reading this Thread,
    I could not jot down everything I did, so if you have any questions or comments please reply, and I hope you the best.
  • EuropeenEuropeen Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    Of course you can! The SAT is pretty predictable.

    The magnitude of the difference you can make depends on how much time you have left, though. Also, I wouldn't waste time with classes. When you're studying on your own you can take in much more knowledge in less time - it's true! In this case, it's as John Nash put it in the movie "A Beautiful Mind": "Classes will dull your mind, destroy the potential for authentic creativity."

    If you lose motivation just watch a video of your dream college's campus (or something like that). It is entirely up to you NOT to lose motivation. Just ask yourself why you even bother with increasing your score. There must be a reason that in turn you can convert into determination.

    One last thing: if you're truly committed to faring better on the SAT, be prepared to let your social life suffer a little. You have to put a lot of time into it if you want to make a big difference.

    Finally, I want to give you some prep book recommendations:
    Princeton Review's General SAT book - great, especially to fundamentally grasp the basic brush strokes of SAT Math. They've got a lot of nifty little concepts in that book that make answering the questions a lot easier (I'm talking "shrewd" solutions).
    Dr. John Chung's SAT Math - much harder than normal SAT Math but it is crucial for keeping your mind sharp... when you're used to Dr. Chung's problems all the other ones from CB will be a breeze.
    COLLEGEBOARD BLUE BOOK - This is just to get your confidence up when you see the real, REAL test is not as hard you might have imagined. But I'd advise you to consult the blue book only after you have signicantly advanced in the other two books.

    Good luck.
  • HelloKittyxHelloKittyx Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    What do you guys think about this : SAT Word Lists : Vocabulary Word lists for the SAT . I am afraid I screw things up by studying this and not direct hits! help :/
  • HelloKittyxHelloKittyx Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    Is direct hits the ONLY way to success on the reading sections? :/
  • maybeitstruemaybeitstrue Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    ofcourse not theres also 300 Essentials but its online only. But Direct Hits is great, dont hesitate to buy it, seriously. If youre crammed on time and can't learn vocab while reading, study the books.
  • wuttowskiwuttowski Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    I read somewhere in here, that if your score increases more than about 350, the CB might flag you for cheating, and do some investigating that could ultimately lead to you taking a private-session test. Is that true ?
  • suler21suler21 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I am having the same problem. I scored very low without studying what so ever. I NEED TO IMPROVE TO AT LEAST 1750. I have the Blue Book but is that enough? Any advice will help! Thanks
  • crouch88crouch88 . Posts: 348 Member
    Hire me. :D I just helped someone raise his Writing score from 440 to 750 in 5 weeks.
  • adepani3112adepani3112 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Hey dude can you help me like give me suggestions on how to get a 2000 up on my SAT I got a 1540 but I didn't study that much. Like books or websites that can get me there to a 2000 or 2100. Thanks!
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