Yet another thread on SAT tips by a perfect scorer...

<p>So in similar manner to a few other threads out there, I decided to write up a post on some SAT tips. I am a junior and received a perfect score on the December 2007 SAT. I had taken it previously in June 2007 as a soph. This was at first meant to be a short response on GeoffreyChaucer's thread, but it turned out to be too long and I didn't want to hijack it with my crap. So at the risk of being flamed for posting a third? or fourth tip thread I've seen the past few days, here it is...</p>

<p>I'd definitely advise doing ONLY CB official tests. I don't care if they seem easy or hard, because ultimately their tests are the real deal and practicing with other tests is inaccurate. The reason why I practiced with CB tests was first the novelty of being as close to the test as possible, but later I discovered that the path to success on the SAT was pure practice. Only through practice was I able to discern my weaknesses (and it took maybe 5 tests to start to recognize consistent errors I was making). And only through practice was I able to fix them. </p>

<p>With regards to strategies, they will help people who are fresh to the SAT, who haven't seen all of the nooks and crannies in the test. However, I achieved perfection only by formulating my own strategies. I had read guides, but was always unable to internalize their tips and tricks. When they said to "skim passage then answer" or "read closely, underline" I never remembered to do so during my actual test sessions. And personally, such tips are not conducive to my style. So instead, I analyzed the questions I got wrong after every test and looked up the reason why/try to understand reasoning behind right answer. For example, with grammar I posted here on CC. With critical reading, I discovered things like "when the passage says on line 12, what does the narrator think... they really mean it. only look on line 12. no inferences or generalizations from other parts of the passage" This was my most common error on the harder CR questions; I remember distinctly a passage that contained a paragraph where the entire paragraph advocated one view, and the sentence highlighted by the question only specified a subset of that view. I chose the whole view, and not the specific that was being highlighted. And it was wrong. I bet guides out there probably mention tips like these, but I never would have been able to remember without committing the error myself. This relates back to the whole CB ONLY argument, because what is the point of learning random grammar mistakes that Barron's likes to put that will NEVER show up on the real test? And for those skeptics that might think CB will surprise you on the real one, you're only wasting your time - be efficient. Especially when I had access to all seven or eight of the QAS since the new SAT came out (which I might add is invaluable! there is a google group titled CC SAT Prep with this), the same type of questions just keep coming up (most notable in grammar).</p>

<p>With regards to the essay, practice didn't really help me so much with the writing process (though I was surprised by the speed with which I had to write the first few times) but ultimately helped cement examples that I would feel comfortable using. I loved using stuff from my american lit class, with the philosophical/literary movements (ie. puritanism, enlightenment, transcendentalism esp) in combination with literature (i had not read the great gatsby at the time but it seems that this is a popular hit, i personally used dickens and bronte novels). I sometimes used theory of evolution, some historical figures, but never personal experiences (I was never comfortable using these since I suck at personal writing, and I thought any attempt would come out weak). furyshade in another thread mentioned the importance of strong conclusions...I don't think graders really care that much. I always wrote 2-max of 3 sentence conclusions. Usually not that strong, but I got 11/12. Main difference between my 11 and my 12 was length. LENGTH is crucial to getting a high score. If your writing is already at a certain threshold, which is not set that high at all, MAKE SURE you have TWO FULL PAGES, or close. My 11 essay was 1.3 pages. My 12 was 2. Longer essays have psychological effects on graders who only spend 2 minutes on your essay. Thats another reason why conclusions don't matter that much, but intros do, since the grader may not even get to the end of the essay, who knows.</p>

<p>I never had trouble with math, but when I made mistakes, it was usually misreading the question. SAT doesnt really test advanced math, but it does like to trick you into assuming that the answer involves number of wheels when really it asks how many cars are produced. Note that anytime they pull a unit change on you, they TELL you in bold that there is a unit change. They dont try to trick you thatttt much. Definitely practice after you have the necessary algebra/geometry background. If not, I'd suggest going to guides/textbooks etc to learn the material first. </p>

<p>With regards to vocab, I did not need to spend much time on it luckily. However for those that do, I recommend SesameWords (lotf629's free site) that has a pretty high percentage that consistently show on the SAT. Barron's list is way too hefty for me, but I also took a look at SparkNotes and the big Testmasters list. I just brute forced the memorization, but do what's best for you when studying vocab. Some like to draw pictures and make flash cards, I like to look at the pure list of definitions...but I'm weird.</p>

<p>I studied for the December 2007 SAT pretty much since the start of the school year (September 2007). I found time on weekends, made time on weekdays by forcing myself to go through a 3 hour test BEFORE I start homework, so I cant make excuses to not do the SAT after I finish the hw...At my peak I averaged 2-3 SATs a week. And with 8 BB, 6 CB online, 7 or so QAS, and 5 or so past PSATs, that was plenty of material for me. I studied vocab intermittently, with no set schedule. And my final little trick was.......a study sheet (don't laugh lol). I had gone through all of the SATs I took, and typed a sheet containing every single conceptual error I had made. And I reviewed that the night before the SAT, not taking another practice test, which I would highly discourage. So I was almost "studying" for the SAT, that is, studying my errors so that I wouldn't make them again. This helped me a lot.</p>

<p>CC definitely made my intro into the world of the SAT very easy, much easier than if I were doing this whole preparing business alone. When I had joined last summer, I found that there were these things called QAS and that the CB online course was free (not sure if it is now, but georgia public schools liked to put their access codes online). I want to personally thank akahmed for his efforts in really making SAT prep accessible to all. I remember he had made a few threads asking for QAS trades, and ultimately, he formed the CC SAT Prep google group. He had spent a lot of time acquiring his materials, but made them accessible to noobs like me, who had nothing to trade. So thank you akahmed and amb3r and all others whose names I cannot recall right now who have made preparing so much easier and so much more effective.</p>

<p>Hopefully this rambling, borderline incoherent post will help someone, and if not, congratulations on making to the end :P Good luck to all who have not yet endured the torture that is the SAT.</p>

<p>woww thank you for these tips
i find it extremely correct that its important to personalize our own strategies and i should def. try to do a study sheet too.</p>

<p>btw how can we access the QAS ??</p>

<p>Wow, that's amazing and exactly what I wanted to see to affirm my analyzation methods on the CR section.</p>

<p>I am very interested and curious about your study sheet.
Would you be so maganimous as to scan your study sheet and share it?</p>

<p>Thank you so much for your wonderful and effective advice!</p>

<p>Michael</p>

<p>^yea that would be awesome if u could scan it</p>

<p>thanks so much.</p>

<p>what i said about conclusion was purely speculative. that tends to be my weak point on essays, i got an 11 so one grader though my essay was perfect. i think the difference between 10-12 is subjective and a matter of luck of the draw. i really do advocate making a book up if you can do it right, i know several people that got 10+'s doing it. its a really viable strategy and saves you time planning etc.</p>

<p>how would you do if the question was "the author's attitude from Passage 1 would most likely react to Passage 2 as"?</p>

<p>How do you get the QAS Tests...all I have are the BB ones and the online ones</p>