Last Minute SAT Study Guide From an Irvine SAT Tutor

The SAT is this Saturday so what you do or don’t do this week will make a significant difference in your score (our Irvine SAT test prep tutors are always here to help). For some of you this is the first time you are taking the SAT and you have multiple more times to take it, for others this is it. Try these last minute tips to give you the best chance of success this weekend.


1. Don’t overestimate yourself. You may have mastered the long passages or the triangle problems long ago but if you haven’t reviewed them within the last two weeks, you should do so now. Go over all of the sections that you were doing well on and do at least one of each throughout the week. Make a list of all of the sections where your expected success rate has dropped and do a second one by Thursday.

2. Tackle those really hard sections. Perhaps you have given up on graphs or sentence corrections, thinking that you will pick up enough points on the sections that you excel in. It’s not too late to go through the explanations in the back of your test prep book and see what you are missing. Picking up even 2-3 points per section could make a huge difference in your composite score (READ: “5 Awesome SAT Apps“).

3. Know when to omit. If you always get the ‘except’ questions wrong, and every single strategy you have ever tried and everything your tutor has ever told you still isn’t working, then it may be time to admit that these questions aren’t for you and consider omitting them on the test. Remember that you are penalized for guessing on the SAT (READ: “A Timeline Study Guide for the SAT“).

4. Tally up your score. If you have only been calculating your score on certain sections or if you haven’t been keeping track at all, now is the time to tally up a composite score. The only score that really counts is the one given by the College Board but it’s better to know what your potential score is before going into the exam. If your current practice test composite score for all sections is a 1500, then you will likely score between a 1400 and 1600 on the real test. Of course, there are plenty of factors that can change your score either up or down but it is always good to have an estimate.

5. Take one full length practice test. If it’s been several weeks since your last full length practice test or if you have yet to take one, do your very best to sit down one day after school Monday-Thursday and take a full length practice test. This will help you understand how long you will be sitting down and how long the test will require your full attention (READ: “SAT Subject Tests“).

6. Follow your pre-test routine on Friday. Basically, if you haven’t learned a particular concept or technique by Friday, then you probably won’t have a ‘light bulb moment’ on Saturday morning at 3 AM. It is important to rest your brain and body the day before a big test such as the SAT. On Friday, eat a good breakfast, lunch and dinner. Go for a walk after school and get some invigorating fresh air and sunshine. Go to bed in time to get at least eight hours of sleep but nine would be better.

Good luck on the October SAT!

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