How To Get a Perfect 2400 in the SAT Strategy
Far too often, when I ask potential clients how they’re preparing for the SATs, I get responses like this: “I’ve been memorizing vocabulary words eight hours a day for three months – you know Chinese students all do well at math.” That is usually my cue to start banging my head against my desk.
Recently though, I spoke with a young man who’d scored an impressive 2360 on this oh-so-frightening exam. When I inquired about he prepared for the exam, he repeated to me the exact same strategy that I’ve been giving my students and clients for years.
This young man certainly did not spend hours and hours and days and weeks memorizing lists of vocabulary, thank goodness. That might be the worst way for a non-native English speaker to prepare for the SAT. If you spend that much time learning words, you ought to speak better English than me. It wastes a ton of time that you could use improving the quality of your life and your education – the things that really get you into top schools.
Instead, this student spent a great amount of time taking the official CollegeBoard practice exams (available on their website). However, he spent an even greater amount of time reviewing those tests and determining what his strengths and weaknesses were.
We all know that practice tests are important, but many students never think about those practice tests once they figure out their score. Once you take an official practice exam, wait a day or two to let your mind clear, and then sit down with test once again. Take a look at all of the questions you missed. Were they all questions of a certain kind? Were they questions that the test-makers considered “difficult?”
What about the questions that you got correct? Was there a certain question category where you got all of the “difficult” questions right? Why are you better at those questions than at those crazy difficult reading comprehension questions?
Spending a few hours reviewing your practice tests this way will do far more to improve your score than memorizing lists and lists of vocabulary words. I promise. So if you’re looking to earn an awesome score like my superstar client, put away the dictionary and pick up your old exams. You won’t regret it.