Is SAT really all about practice/study or natural skills?

<p>In other words, is SAT all about practicing (CollegeBoard, Princeton Review, ect) or how much skills you have in yourself?</p>

<p>I studied so hard on the SAT, (i completed 8 tests on COlelgeBoard), and my scores improving only by a 100 points. I only have 1550 SAT score, and everyone else, even foreigners who never visited United States, received 2000. </p>

<p>How do people do this?? It's just crazy... Any advice? I've even went to SAT programs and it was a complete trash, only testing, and doing lessons.</p>

<p>Math: 550
Writing: 480
reading: 390</p>

<p>The test makers try to design an exam that assesses your "critical thinking skills."
While it helps a lot to have "natural skills" at the test, you CAN learn to improve your score if you study smart. </p>

<p>As a former tutor I've seen many students who've improved their scores from the 600s to the high 700s. I'm willing to bet you can also improve your scores significantly. </p>

<p>One question you might want to continually ask yourself during your studying is, "Is the way I'm studying helping?" </p>

<p>I learned that often when a student keeps having the same score range even after taking numerous practice exams, that the problem lies in the student never changing his/her study plan.</p>

<p>Right now, as I type this, I was studying for the SAT's.
Although there really isn't a set method to study, the best way is to review problems you missed and go over them. For math, the same style of problems are presented over and over. When you read, just know that all the answers are in the passage. You just need to understand the passage and take notes on specific parts of the passage like where the author uses figurative language, a word that is misused in the context. Because more likely than not, questions will appear on these types of sentences.
For writing, all I can say is study idioms common in the English language and review what you missed. Like I said before, the questions are all pretty similar in style so if you master it you will never miss those questions again.
I started in late June from a 1740 and I rose to a 2150 so you can do it if you put in the time and effort. Good luck! :)</p>

<p>What's the common study plan for students to raise their scores?
I'm completely satisfied if i can somehow raise the number 1550 to 1800.</p>

<p>Also, do you have any recommendations, like what books are very useful for low level students like me, who received a score of: 1550 or 1300? online prep would also be good.</p>

<p>Thank you!</p>

<p>Hey Johnlee625, I just sent you a PM. I think it contains some useful information.</p>

<p>One way you can start is by looking at the types of questions you are missing. For example, in critical reading, are you missing a lot of vocabulary questions? Are you not reading fast enough? Are you spending too much time on reading and not enough on the questions? </p>

<p>From my experience, the writing (grammar multiple choice) section is the easiest section to have a large score increase. Of course, it's different for everyone. </p>

<p>If the SAT I scores are in the 500 range, that could suggest the student has a more fundamental academic skill problem rather than the book he/she is using.</p>

<p>As you can see, I've reviewed so much and I just don't have the fundamental to take the test. Yet, I need at least a score of 1800 to get into a decent school.</p>

<p>Is there any way? I've only taken tons of test, without actually practicing a lot. I did, but i only went to prep courses and took tests, and saw my mistakes. But, it is not improving at all. I need a book that could really explain every problem. I need something that i could study alone, and raise my score alone. </p>

<p>Thank you.</p>

<p>Hi johnlee625, please check your private message inbox!</p>

<p>I disagree, though not dramatically, with what some of the other posters have said. Though one can bolster his/her critical thinking skills I feel the effect of intense study is only minimal. I believe that the SATs are designed to measure one's natural ability and instinctual critical thinking, which levels the playing field for all people, those who study endlessly and those who have never touched a book in their lives. </p>

<p>The main reason studying is associated with improving SAT scores is because you are spending time thinking about the SAT and reviewing your mistakes, not truly affecting your inherent skills, but merely patching what has gone "rusty."</p>

<p>IMO there are two categories of testers:</p>

<p>1) "Normal" People
2) Intensive Review (Really Rich) People</p>

<p>We probably fall into the "Normal Category." We have a base score from which we start. (Say 1300). After we familiarize ourself with the testing format and learn a couple tips and/or tricks. (i.e. Xiggi's rate problem equation and basic Joe Bloggs). Because of our studying, we approach our maximum score: the more you study, the closer you are to it.</p>

<p>The second category are those with tens of thousands of dollars of prep behind them. They have parents, all sorts of vocabulary lists, and above all expensive tutors. They have "Insider Secrets" and other tips and tricks. Hence the wealth-SAT score correlation. If you fall into this category, you're probably hiring Hernandez or another $40,000 consultant to tell you what to do. </p>

<p>The best advice I can give you is to chug along and IDENTIFY YOUR WEAK AREAS. Also, a review of grammar (Silverturtle's is very good) is very helpful for the M.C. section in writing. I don't have many tips for the essay though. </p>

<p>One of the advantages to studying using practice tests is that you become more attuned to the test and to "understand its language". Also, reviewing ALL OF your answers, both right and wrong, is an integral part of the practice test study method.</p>

<p>Cheers and good luck.</p>

<p>The SAT is designed to be an aptitude test. For most people, studying will bring your score up a little, but unless you have a photographic memory and can memorize all the words in the dictionary, realistically a big jump is not going to happen (unless you had a really bad day the first time). There is a strong correlation between SAT scores and IQ.</p>

<p>^ NOT TRUE</p>

<p>If you take dozens of practice tests, memorize word lists, understand all tested math concepts, familiarize with grammar, practice reading comprehension, and practice your essays, and do this A LOT (Months), there is no limit to what you can score.</p>

<p>You should know most everything on the SAT.</p>

<p>Its how much did you forgot. Raising your score comes from jamming in things you keep forgetting. Things like grammar from elemantary, random processes in algebra, and spanish roots from Spanish 1.</p>

<p>Classes are just mega mega review. Unless you do something to absorb it down, prep classes will fly over your head.</p>

<p>Prep tests are immensely helpful. The Princeton Review and Kaplan offer free tests at public libraries- visit their websites to see which are close to you. Theyre very realistic and no advertising seminar. I HIGHLY RECCOMMEND ALL to take as many; 5.. 10.. The more tests, the more you can test your skills and see what to hone.</p>

<p>Books, by the way, wirk for 50% of people. You need the discipline to sit down for a whole sitting, and unlike practice tests, your essay is ungraded and sometimes they're costly.</p>

<p>There is little to learn really. I don't even have a graphing calculator and got 570 on math (and I'm in Adv Alg). Just get to know what to predict, and how to take it down.</p>

<p>Any books you recommend, for people who self-studied, or used books and studied on your own to see if there are useful strategies, etc? </p>

<p>Thanks.</p>

<p>Try Direct Hits vocab, it helps improve my CR on the sentence completion part.</p>

<p>For me, WR and CR is about practice, i improve about 100 points in each part.</p>

<p>I seriously laughed out loud at shibbolet this.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The second category are those with tens of thousands of dollars of prep behind them. They have parents, all sorts of vocabulary lists, and above all expensive tutors. They have "Insider Secrets" and other tips and tricks. Hence the wealth-SAT score correlation. If you fall into this category, you're probably hiring Hernandez or another $40,000 consultant to tell you what to do.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>My parents are pretty well off (annual income of ~400-600k), and honestly, the way I prepared was just using the Blue Book ($20), direct hits ($20), erica meltzer ($20), and Online Course ($60) = total $120... I went from 1670 to a 2330. Point is, despite being rich, it only cost me $120 and a lot of effort.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, those are low scores.</p>

<p>Perhaps try the ACT? Maybe you will do better.</p>

<p>While you can definitely study math for the SAT and thereby refresh your memory of everything you might have forgotten over the past two years, in the end, the SAT really is based on natural ability. It is hard to study for CR or writing. No matter how hard you study, you are not going to turn a 1500 into a 2000. </p>

<p>That doesn't mean you are doomed. </p>

<p>Everyone is good at something. If you find what subject or thing you are good at, and you concentrate in that area, you can still do better than kids with 2400 SATs.</p>

<p>Thirty years have passed for me now, and some of my most successful high school friends did not go to big name colleges. </p>

<p>And my mother's second husband went to MIT, and he was living in a trailer park when she met him.</p>

<p>Also, if your high school grades are good, you can search for schools that don't ask for SAT scores. I have seen such lists in the past.</p>

<p>your math score is not horrible</p>

<p>I think you could apply to a school and major in business, for example.</p>

<p>Or perhaps you are good in science or computers.</p>

<p>But in verbal stuff, unfortunately, you are not good.</p>

<p>@Shibboleet: I take some offense to your post, because it seems to suggest that wealther people all have intensive training and thus higher scores. While that may not be your intention, I can honestly say that not everyone that is wealthy spends money on preparation and many earn high scores the good old fashioned way.</p>

<p>I think people who are geniuses get 2300+.</p>

<p>Seriously. You guys make me feel so stupid.</p>

<p>But I think it's practice that causes most people to score high</p>

<p>Kieran0696, what you're saying is not realistic. Just because you may have heard of a few outliers doesn't mean that what you say can apply to most people (in this case improving your score dramatically by studying).
Studies and comments from psychologists:
SAT</a> and IQ scores correlate
SAT</a> Prep - Are SAT Prep Courses Worth the Cost?</p>