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Advice about improving my score about 100 points?

PR0047PR0047 Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
So I’m taking the SAT (for the first time) in about 3 weeks. I’ve started preparing with the official practice book and Khan Academy about a week or so ago.

I’ve had a general trend with every PSAT that I’ve taken of improving my score by ~100 points.

Freshman year I got a 1090/1440.

Sophomore year I got a 1210/1520.

And this year I got a 1300/1520.

I’m aiming to get ~1400 (as my first choice has an average score of a 1410).

However, I’m stressing out a bit. I do things after school combined with homework that leave me with little time and energy for my practice. I still do it every day but I feel like I haven’t improved and get a good third or two of the questions wrong (as typically I take my best guess if I cannot recall how to approach a problem).

I recently took my first Khan practice exam and received a 1280. I did slightly worse on the English section and exactly the same on the math.

So I’m a bit stressed.

This SAT score is very important for my admissions as it is likely going to be one of the more impressive portions of my application. My ECs are okay, GPA is fine and my rank is relatively decent but I’m really counting on a good SAT score to assist me.

Needless to say I’m a little nervous on whether or not I can really improve my score.

Does anyone have any advice about doing so, or at least calming my nerves a bit?

Any feedback is appreciated, thank you!

Replies to: Advice about improving my score about 100 points?

  • greenie99greenie99 Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
    Take a deep breath and calm down! One of the worst things you can do is psych yourself out before actually taking the SAT for the first time. Test-day jitters can be very overwhelming. Trust me, this is coming from a terrible and nervous test taker such as myself. I was in a similar situation as you are. Although I did not bank on my SAT as the most important portion of my application, it carried significant weight. So when I received my first SAT score back, I felt terrible.

    What I would suggest is to do what you can for now. Last-minute cramming won't do much overall in terms of significant score improvement, and may just stress you out needlessly considering how busy you already are with school and ECs. Just ride it out. For me, the first SAT was a shock, but one that motivated me. As a result, I checked out multiple test prep books - Barrons and Princeton Review - from my local library. I made sure to read the review material that I had skimmed over. Once I was sure I had as much of the basic information down as I could, I took as many practice tests as a could. Whatever I could get my hands on. It was the best thing I could have done. Though taking practice tests is time absorbing, I found that the more I took them, the more I adjusted for the time constraint, the more I got used to the typical SAT question format, and the more confident I felt. I made sure to also re-do all of the problems I missed, looking for any patterns in mistakes.
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