SAT Tests - Time Saving Tricks

Posted by reedcooper on July 18th, 2019

Taking a standardized test can be full of anxiety. When you are stressed out, you tend to mismanage time, and on a standardized test such as the SAT, when each section is timed, the last thing you want to do is mismanage the little amount of time that you have. Your score will depend on getting the most number of correctly answered questions as possible, so saving time to maximize your score is a great technique to employ.

An obvious, but often overlooked time-saving tip for SAT test prep is to read and study the directions before you ever get to the test. SAT test prep books, put out by the College Board and others, will give full instructions and ample opportunities to understand what is being asked for in each section of the SAT test. If you have a full knowledge of how you will work through the section before you begin, you won't need to take valuable test time to read and study the directions for the section on the day of the test. A quick skim of the instructions, just to remind yourself of what's being asked for, will save a couple of minutes for each section. Each saved minute gives you more time to focus on gaining a correct answer in that section, and each correct answer, increases your overall score.

Another way to save time on the SAT test is to remember that even though the questions typically get a little harder as you work through each section that does not necessarily mean that they will be less likely to be questions that you can answer. For whatever reason, everyone has a tendency to learn some things easier than others, but what may be easy for you is possibly more difficult for someone else. So, it naturally follows that the questions determined to be more "difficult" by the creators of the SAT, and therefore falling later in the test section, may not be difficult for you. So, to maximize your point potential, go through each section first answering the questions that you can quickly answer. Skip over the ones that take a bit more thought. There is no rule that says you must work in order on each section, only that you stay within that section, so take full advantage of being able to skip around to answer your easier questions first on the SAT. Just be sure to transfer your answers to the correctly numbered answer blank when you fill in your answers.

When you skip over a question, be sure to note it in the test booklet and put some sort of visual notation or mark to remind you to come back to it when you've finished your first pass through the section. If you've gained the best advantage on the first pass through, then the second pass will give you the time to consider more carefully those questions that seem more problematic. On those, remember to find the correct answer by first eliminating the answers that cannot be correct. This will help you to avoid trick answers. Working by elimination removes the distractions making the correct answer more obvious rather than letting yourself get caught in a common mistake. When the correct answer is cleared out from the bogus ones, you will actually do less problem solving and save time there, too.

The SAT test can seem daunting for a first-time tester, but with a little practice and a few techniques, it's not as hard as it might seem. Use simple time-saving strategies to your fullest advantage, and you'll be well on your way to a higher score.

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