Conquering the SAT


Staff Writer


The SAT, or Scholastic Aptitude Test, is a common source of stress amongst high school juniors and seniors planning to apply to colleges and universities. The test consists of ten sections: one twenty-five minute essay, six twenty-five minute sections (mathematics, critical reading, writing), two twenty minute sections (mathematics, critical reading), and one ten minute section (writing). Two five-minute breaks are given between various sections; overall, the test will take three hours and forty-five minutes.

The first step to preparing for the SAT is to select a testing date and center. The test is administered in October, November, December, January, March, May, and June. In order to register on-time and avoid paying a late registration free, be sure to register for a date and center as early as possible. After registering, the registration ticket must be printed out with all correct information to bring to the testing center.

The next step is to make a schedule. Each student has different strengths and weaknesses, but the key to mastering the SAT  is to cover all topics that will be tested. By taking a diagnostic exam prior to studying, it will be clear what needs to be studied in greater depth. After determining which areas to focus on, plan which sections and practice tests to take leading up to the test.

In order to stay focused during the long test, be sure to get a good night’s rest and eat a healthy breakfast the morning of. It is recommended to pack all materials needed for the exam the night before to avoid stress in the morning. Without a registration ticket and proper identification, individuals will not be allowed in the testing room; a test-day checklist is also available on the CollegeBoard website to make sure nothing is forgotten.

Even though it is normal to be nervous for an important test, try to remain to calm and confident; if you have prepared for the exam, you will be prepared for it. After taking the SAT, scores should be available within three to four weeks on the CollegeBoard site. Happy testing!


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