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SAT Practice Tests: How they Help

This autumn is filled with opportunities to take the SAT test (September, October, November and December).  One of the best ways to prepare is to take regular full-length, timed SAT practice tests in the weeks and months your exam date.

Full-length Practice Tests are a Savvy Investment:s

  • Build your stamina: the SAT is not only about content and strategy but also about mental and physical stamina. It is crucial to sit at least 2 full-length SAT mock tests before the real exam to adjust to the extended time period and to practice maintaining your diligence for every question.
  • Try out your strategies: you do NOT want to experiment on test day. Instead, you want to have developed a systematic approach for each section.
  • Pacing: linked to stamina and strategy, you want to have worked out how you will spend the allotted time in each section.

Practice Test Scheduling:

A-List Education provides the most recent SAT practice test papers, unavailable to the general public, to our clients. In the autumn, we will have practice tests every weekend.

How Should I Take the Practice Tests:

In order to maximize the benefit of taking the tests, we recommend recreating exam conditions as much as possible.

  • Find a neutral, unfamiliar, quiet space to work in. Do not take the test in your bedroom or family room. Libraries, offices, an empty school classroom, or even a room in the house where you don’t spent a lot of time re ideal.
  • Come prepared. Sit down to the SAT mock test with the test paper and bubble sheet printed out so you can practice annotating key words and filling in the bubbles along with your pencil, rubber, calculator, water bottle and snacks for the break.
  • Have someone else keep time for you. Not having control over timing makes a huge difference psychologically, and you want to get used to that in advance.

Next Step After the Practice Test:

Every SAT practice test has three life cycles: 1) use as a timed test or timed section 2) use for diligent corrections and active reflection 3) use as a primary source for studying test design.

So now you have done the test and marked it, go through each incorrect answer and carefully redo them. You want to analyse exactly where in the answering process you went awry, then correct it. Keep note of the reasons for each correction and study what trends emerge over the course of the exam. From these trends, reevaluate your strategy for the next SAT practice test. This might include deciding to deliberately answer slightly fewer questions to increase your accuracy or alternating the order in which you answer question types or passages.

Once you have made diligent corrections and used them to reflect upon your performance, you can turn back to the practice test. Now we want to study the design of the test itself. Comparing multiple SAT papers, you will start to notice strong trends emerging in terms of question types, question order and phrasing design. Acquaint yourself with these trends: interrogate them. The more familiar you are with the design of the SAT, the more targeted you can make your strategy and the more prepared you will be for the test that you sit on exam day.

If you would like to take a full-length practice test, please reach out to A-List! We are happy to schedule one for you!


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