Tips From an Orange County SAT Tutor: Super Last Minute Study Guide

The SAT is, well, just a few days away. The majority of students taking the SAT for the first time are in sheer panic mode. This is understandable, especially since the SAT will be changing drastically in 2016. All those students who haven’t started their test prep will probably find themselves in a rather difficult spot; students who have been studying (at least a little) can do a few last minute things to help them prep for their exam next week.


1 – Vocab, vocab, and… more vocab

Students working on last minute SAT prep can always benefit from vocab review. Even if students are seeing dozens of words for the first time, they will be better off going into the exam next week if they are at least somewhat familiar with the words. There are many places students can find SAT word lists, but the best place to start is in the College Board test prep book.

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2 – Math Formula Review

Even students who are picking up their test prep books for the first time in a few months will benefit from math formula review. All of the formulas students need in order to do well on the math section are found at the beginning of the College Board test prep book practice exams. Although these formulas will also appear on the actual exam, students who have memorized them will avoid wasting time by constantly flipping the page back to the beginning of the section (READ: “5 Awesome SAT Apps”).

3 – Last Minute Tutoring Sessions

It’s never too late to schedule a last minute tutoring session. In many ways, Irvine SAT tutors can help their students calm themselves down and avoid nervousness that can sabotage any important standardized exam. Although it’s probably too late to learn concepts for the first time, tutors can go over basic test prep techniques in as little as two to three hours. Any help is better than none, so students who have yet to properly prep for the SAT are encouraged to get as much help as possible.

4 – Take a Practice Exam

Students taking the SAT this October for the first time are highly encouraged to take a practice exam or at least portions of an exam. This way, students will have some idea of what score they expect to get. It’s always a good idea to take off about 100 to 200 points from a practice exam because some practice exams are a little bit easier than the actual test and because students are usually more nervous on the actual test day. For example, if a student scores a 1600 on their practice exam (that they took in the peace and quiet of their bedroom) they should expect to score anywhere between 1400 and 1500 on exam day. This will also help students know where they stack up against other students applying to the same colleges. For instance, if the student’s dream school requires an 1850, they know they should plan to take the SAT again and start working with a tutor ASAP. On the other hand, if their dream school requires a 1550, they may be on the right track (READ: “Tips from a private Irvine SAT tutor: The Free Sat Study Guide”).

5 – Take a Deep Breath

The most important thing for students to do is simply take a deep breath and relax. If a student has been studying diligently throughout the summer, they are likely to receive, within a reasonable margin of error, the scores that their practice tests have revealed. On the other hand, a student who has yet to crack open their test prep book, they won’t be able to do too much between now and test day. However, a level head and lack of nervousness can often help a student perform higher than if they have worried themselves into oblivion. Take a deep breath, eat a healthy meal, and go to bed early the night before the test. Remember, even college seniors can take the test again up until the end of 2015 and still send those scores to potential colleges.
Good luck!

It’s never too early to start preparing for the next round of testing! Book your private Orange County test prep tutor today and score higher.

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