Improving a SAT score by 50-80 points

So I took my SAT the first time in March. I was a 10th grade international student (I studied by taking 5-7 practice tests) and I scored a 1520 (780 EBRW, 740 Math). I’ve registered again for the SAT in September, and I’m targeting a 1580 (I know a lot of people say it doesn’t make that much of a difference, but as an international Asian student, I do need to increase my math scores to be at par with others from my demographic + I’ve just started the 11th grade so I do have time to take it again).

How do you suggest I study? I’m extremely busy with school and extracurriculars, so I want a quick + cheap study method that doesn’t involve sitting down for full length tests. I’ve tried Khan academy but it didn’t work that well for me as I found it a bit overwhelming. Thanks!

PS: The first time I took it, I had time left and reviewed each section multiple times, so it came down to me just not knowing the answers. I think I need more help with content than time management.

I’ve found Barron’s prep books to be the best for high score/harder than actual test-type of practice and review.

There are lots of online study methods and books as well. I would doubt a 60 point difference at that level would get you in or not. As in seriously doubt it. Maybe spend the time working on essays or doing more EC’s.

Khan Academy can also import the results from your SAT, if you provide your CB login info, and build a study plan based specifically on the topics/questions you missed.

Whether it makes a difference depends on the schools. My “any higher doesn’t matter” bar for tippy top schools is about 1550. Applying to MIT with a Math 740 could be limiting, for example. After a top 20 or so schools, or outside STEM, it’s fine.

I find Khan Academy a bit subpar when compared to test prep books and other sources. Moreover, to prepare for the SAT, I suggest that you use books such as Barron’s because it will expose you to the most challenging questions of all types -even the ones that you may see only once or twice on the actual SAT- and The Princeton Review because its questions are a bit easier and more straightforward. Lastly, just don’t use Kaplan books because they are just god awful. They don’t actually teach you the material, rather expose you to it.

Identify the specific type of Math questions you are missing and learn the underlying concepts/practice with as many similar questions as you can find.

For W&L, once again, identify the type of questions you are missing (i.e. commas, colons, etc.) and learn the underlying concept (comma rules). Then practice with as many similar questions as you can find. Since you have such a high score, your prep will need to be much more specified and narrowed down to the exact couple of concepts you are not picking up.

Let me know if you have any questions regarding certain concepts (Math or English) and I would be more than happy to provide some expert insight/tips.

I’m a test prep tutor. The most essential book is the official College Board SAT study guide.

If you want to learn more strategies and tips on your own, IMO the best choice is the SAT Black Book, used in conjunction with the official study guide.

I don’t use any supplemental study guides in my test prep because I see no point in using mock tests when College Board publishes them all free on its website.


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