SAT advice?

I’m in my freshman year of high school and without any SAT prep I scored a 1110 (new score) on a practice exam. I still have a few years before the real exam! If it helps, I haven’t taken the Algebra 2 Honors course yet. I’m also working on SAT exercises for about 15-20 minutes everyday! Do you think that it’s possible for me to reach 1500 and higher? (If you have any SAT advice, I would like to hear that as well!) Thanks :slight_smile:

Yeah - Khan Academy ( is partnered with CollegeBoard and is an absolutely phenomenal study tool. Its sections break down every bit of the curriculum that will be present on the SAT (as well as PSAT; so if you plan on trying out for the NMS then you definitely want a headstart).

@AbnormalForce That’s what I’m using! Khan Academy is truly a blessing when it comes to SAT prep!

If you achieved a 1110 without any practice AS A FRESHMAN then you’re well on your way to a 1500+, plus, you still have three more years for the junior one (the real one). I highly suggest studying the beginning of the blue book to familiarize yourself with the algebraic concepts (it will help to start reviewing them even though you haven’t taken algebra 2) - HOWEVER, since a majority of the test is algebra 2 you’re going to want to start learning some predictable patterns the SATer’s like to test on.

Basically anything from 6th grade math to algebra 2/foundation to trig is fair play and may irritatingly appear on the test. I believe the SAT is a beautiful game, not of intelligence, but of how much you’ve payed attention in class over the years / how well your understanding of each subject fits + how fast you can skim read while retaining understanding + random grammar rules that may or may not apply to daily language or you’ll probably never use in normal conversation.

The most important tips of strategy I can give you (but remember - EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN STRATEGY, FIND YOUR OWN WINGS):


  1. ALWAYS ALWAYS make sure the dual questions are supported with the passage (1. What does ______ state… 2. What lines support the previous question) THESE ALMOST ALWAYS could be cut down to 2-3 “maybe” answers - the trick to getting these pesky ones correct are to make sure that every word in the line is specifically supported by the text.
  2. I personally skim through my questions first to get somewhat of an understanding of what I should keep a lookout for - I always answer the two vocab/context questions instantly - making sure to read bottom and top sentences for context (For example: What does fumigated most nearly mean in lines 24,27?) these are easy hitters and one less question to worry about. Finally, skim through the passage slow enough to understand, but fast enough to save time - don’t read too much.
  3. I save the main idea questions last - REALLY IMPORTANT: make sure the main idea has to do with the passage as a whole, not small ideas that are large paragraphs of the passage. (Think about what the purpose of each paragraph is for and the purpose of passage is as a whole)
  4. Have a firm understanding that there is only one correct answer for each question - that means there are 3 COMPLETELY incorrect answer choices for every question, ONE WORD that does not pertain to what the question is asking / supported by passage = wrong. Try finding the answer choices that are wrong first and eliminating them, putting a squiggly line next to ones you’re unsure of and a check next to the ones you are sure of.
  5. Practice the rare questions - any you find interesting in the blue book or the analogy type questions - often appear in SAT.


  1. Just memorize all the grammar rules, practice reading complex articles, practice writing your own examples of correct grammar / practice writing with odd, but correct grammar - start using semicolons and colons, hyphens and parenthesis.
  2. Save any anomalous NOT grammar type question for last and come back to it (SATer’s like to throw in random non grammar - more IQ based - questions on the grammar portion, BUT Very rare) For example, I remember a question asking to chronologically organize a list in accordance with a graph (those weird cross sub-scores).
  3. Save sentence organization for last (guess and come back) or practice these extensively so you’re familiar with them - just circle the sentence you’re asked to move and the choices of where you have to move it.
  4. Don’t actually read the articles, just skim through them


  1. There are predictable patterns they may test on: POLYNOMIALS (difference of squares, completing the square, and ADVANCED polynomials - the tricky guap), slope fluency (and conceptual understanding - word problems), multistep concept and fluency (basically having to use multiple skills to solve a problem- typically the last questions, which are more difficult), Pythagorean theorem, special triangles memorized, solid foundation of mentally adding/subtracting/multiples table to 12, “in terms of” type questions (rearranging equations to isolate a variable), function notation - G(f(x)), STRONG fluency with square roots and all the properties of exponents - 1/a^2 = a^-2, STRONG fluency with dimensional analysis, radian manipulation (degree to radian, radians to degrees), standard deviation concept understanding, interest + rates formulas, ratios (6th grade comes back to haunt you), discriminant (they like to toss those in there like cereal), complex #'s, midpoints, transcribed lines, quadrilaterals/parallelograms/trapezoid, shaded regions + tangents,
    cos/sin/tan (SOH CAH TOA), scatterplot.
  2. Understand the easier questions come first, moderate after, and MIT mathematician intensity questions come last. Also, understand the student produced questions (last 5 for no calc, last 8 for calc) take more time to solve and you can’t guess on these (I mean you can, but you’re odds are not favorable against the 13 aisle, 4 row grid in fire wall).
  3. I personally do the easier 1-12 first, jump to the student produced, and finish the last 3-4 multiple choice after. This helps me because if I’m confronted with a foreign/time consuming problem I could just guess and come back to it later, rather than doing the time consuming problem first and risking not finishing easy student produced choices first. However, if you’re a math nerd / capable of efficiently finishing questions - then by all means go by the standard 1-20 manner. I’m sure the SAT wizards who crafted the test would snicker at your normality.
  4. Do not use the calculator - Mental math saves you a minute - PRACTICE - only reason you should use it is if you get some difficult graphing question where you could simply pump in the numbers and have the graph ready. The questions are designed to be done without a calculator - try rounding.
  5. Really, just study study study and review everything you learned, you will get a 1550.


  • Time yourself without looking at clock too much bc you won’t do this on day of the test
  • Practice in real life simulations
  • If you don’t have time to do whole tests do sections, but really try to finish large chunks under realistic testing conditions. DON’T waste blue book practices.


  • CollegeBoard Blue Book of wisdom (8) - BEST RESOURCE - costs 22$
  • Ivy Global (2 practice tests)
  • Khan academy (8 I think)
  • Princeton review (Harder tests than the SAT actually is)
  • Prepscholar (they’re corny, but helpful)
  • MY REVIEW OF COURSE - (check throughout College confidential, there are many strategies)
  • College board past PSAT + daily SAT questions
  • Crack SAT (shh, no one has to know)
  • ErikTheRed (don’t space it out unless you want a fat viking to appear when you hit enter)

I’ve done around 11 practice tests / reviewed 11 and I jumped from 900’s to consistent 1300’s - mind you I have never been a math wiz, but I love to read / write + I was in geometry when I took the PSAT. I’m personally still having a difficult time jumping from 1300 to a near perfect. There is a certain point where the methods click and you will become a pro. This was done in a matter of 3 MONTHS - If I could jump approximately 400 points in 3 months you can do four times that in 3 years. My apologies if there are strange grammar mistakes I’m writing this deep in the late night. Good luck man - Cheers.

The best thing you can do, because you are a still a freshman, is take the most rigorous coursework you can take and push yourself in whatever you do take. Also read, read, read on the side and not just material assigned in classes. Spending time doing test prep over the next two years will certainly help, but reading difficult books and doing your math homework will likely help you even more. I wouldn’t get too hung up on your test scores in the big picture in any event—I know plenty of people who can work a math problem easily but struggle on math multiple choice tests, and in life you will take few multiple choice tests after you leave schooling. My guess is that test prep for the ACT is likely more fruitful than the SAT, if considered in isolation.

Wow! Thank you so much! This advice will definitely be used :smiley:

@booboobear Thank you!!!

Wow, you’re working hard! You will certainly do well if you have already started studying.

I began my studying at the beginning of my junior year/end of the summer.

At your current score range, you would definitely benefit from a private tutor or group lessons. Ask around and see.

Take a bunch of practice tests.

Night before the test– relax and sleep well.

Good luck!