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How I Improved from 170s on PSAT to an eventual 2310 SAT I.

repzolowrepzolow Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
edited November 2013 in SAT Preparation
First of all, I'm just here to share my experience with the SAT I. Honestly, I'm not a really "bright" kid who can memorize everything a teacher says; I have to study quite awhile for tests and such. So if you're like me, perhaps and most likely, this will help. If you're not, and is one who learns quite easily, then you might reach your goal easier with my advice. Take it with a grain of salt. I'm not here to brag; You may disagree with my ways, and that's fine.

My 170s in PSAT (forget exact score) to 2310 SAT I (took it 2 times, superscored) took approximately one year, including a summer. I got accepted to two of HYPS.

1) Memorize 50 words a day from the Barron's Word List of 3000 words (I realize a lot of you guys might disagree with this, but it worked for me; on BOTH tests, all the words I saw, I recognized, and even though I might not have grasped the exact meanings, I got enough to eventually decipher the correct answer confidently.

2) Read good books and newspapers (NY Times, Economist, etc)

3) Take all practice tests from Blue Book, Barron's, and Princeton Review. This probably helped the most. Practice makes perfect. REVIEW your mistakes after EVERY test you take. This builds confidence too.

4) The Grammar Section in Barron's is superb. Read it.

5) I never had a problem with math, but do Barron's if you do have a problem with it. It has hard problems, but that's better in preparing you for the real thing.

6) For Critical Reading, I didn't choose which passages to read or w.e. first. I did it question by question. I read the passages in its entirety then answered the questions. Trust me, you have enough time. When you review the questions you missed in CR, know why it's wrong. You'll slowly develop a sense for choosing the correct answer. This sounds weird, but it's true. The correct answer slowly begins to just pop at you once you do a lot of practice tests.

7) Essay: THREE examples if you're not a great writer. Preferably historical. I didn't outline (got a 12), but just started writing. Write what you CARE about; that's when you shine and get high marks.

To be continued?
Post edited by repzolow on

Replies to: How I Improved from 170s on PSAT to an eventual 2310 SAT I.

  • shiomishiomi Registered User Posts: 1,313 Senior Member
    ^That's dedication....
    Nice job, you certainly earned that score.
  • desperatechaosdesperatechaos Registered User Posts: 279 Junior Member
    Great advice. Thanks. :)

    For the essay, I believe two examples will suffice if you can write enough on them?
  • partxtimexlovahpartxtimexlovah Registered User Posts: 204 Junior Member
    yup..i'm just like you..as a learner.

    1) i have to take the psat in october for the first time but i just dont have TIME to memorize 50 words/day!!!!
    2) check
    3) i have all three..didnt start barrons or PR11 yet but will complete..i hope
    4) alright, thanks. are you talking about the "How to Prepare for the SAT" version or the 2400 version?
    5) thanks.
    6) i slightly know what you mean by the sense thing..i think more practice will lead me to my goal
    7) sigh..im a weird writer..i start off really really slow and then i get faster and faster..i can pull it off but its not the best way..i only have 2 examples in each

    overall, thanks for your tips..i am taking a practice test tomorrow morning..should go to bed now

    congrats on your acceptances..of course it wasnt just your SAT scores that got you in..do you mind me asking what your other strengths were?
  • PBaileyPBailey Registered User Posts: 676 Member
    By Barron's, you mean 2400? or the normal one?
  • repzolowrepzolow Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    The Normal One is difficult and thick enough. I haven't even looked at the 2400 one (I know it's more thin though?).

    Also, when you take these difficult Barron's practice tests, you'll find out you may have not wanted/expected those scores. Don't let it disappoint you. Just try to learn from the mistakes, which I had A LOT in these tests.
  • repzolowrepzolow Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member

    then memorize 100 words a day :D. My definition of memorizing isn't knowing the exact meaning of the word. It's that, whenever you see that word on a test, you get a STRONG feel of whether that word fits or not into the context of the sentence. The instincts are usually 95% correct. So it's not like, hardcore and rote memorization. Look it over enough so that you can get a strong feel.

    I will disagree with anyone who claims you can't improve dramatically on CR or Writing. Hell yes you can (excuse my language)! By hundreds of points at that!
  • repzolowrepzolow Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member

    Two examples will certainly work and can be enough for a 12. I said three because the essay graders prefer to see as much evidence as possible and that alone can greatly affect your score. You can do two examples along with a short counterargument (if you feel 2 is adequate) or just full-on three examples. Oh yeah, I forgot to add that a counterargument helps significantly to your score btw. It adds depth, focus, and broad thinking to your argument.
  • repzolowrepzolow Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    Also, by Princeton Review, I mean the book with only PR Practice Tests (there's like 8 or 12 in it?). Their tests are similar to the real thing. Do these first then do the practice tests in Barron's. Barron's tests are more difficult, but that's a good thing. You'll have an easier time taking the actual SAT and obviously, will obtain a higher score.
  • YasminYasmin Registered User Posts: 203 Junior Member
    ^there's 11 tests in PR

    I'm just curious repzolow, which schools did u get into?
    and how long did it take you to get all this prep done?
  • KeepRollingKeepRolling Registered User Posts: 581 Member
    he said 1 year
  • QuixQuix - Posts: 698 Member
    Did you practice CR questions on books other than the blue book? If so, was it more helpful or was it detrimental?
  • somekidinnycsomekidinnyc Registered User Posts: 303 Junior Member
    Which of the HYPS did you get into?
  • KeepRollingKeepRolling Registered User Posts: 581 Member
    Does that matter? They are all hard to get into.
  • shahdinshahdin - Posts: 2,178 Senior Member
    lol its officialy HYPSM. (harvard,yale,priceton,standford, and MIT)
  • WavvyWavvy Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    I admire you. I believed nobody can keep working on memorizing vocabs for over 3 months. I'm clearly wrong. I admire you.
This discussion has been closed.