College Connection

Strategies to Score High on the SAT

afa6ec5d7d11f0947414_Harvard_University.jpg
afa6ec5d7d11f0947414_Harvard_University.jpg

It’s not a secret as to what’s on the SAT.  In fact, several actual SAT exams that were administered over the past two years, are available online at Khan Academy and in print in The Official SAT Study Guide by The College Board. So the most basic strategy for acing the SAT is to become thoroughly familiar with the test material ahead of time.  By taking prior exams, and learning how to correctly answer past questions, students will be well on their way to earning an impressive score on the day of their real test.

Students should also know, and understand, the directions for each test section in advance so they can use all of the allotted time to earn points rather than to figure out what they need to do.  This is particularly important for the open-ended math questions where students have to solve problems and then correctly bubble in their answers. Students need to know, for example, that if their answer is one-and-a-half they need to record their answer as 3/2 or 1.5. If they bubble in 11/2 the computer will read it as eleven halves and they will not get credit.  

At the beginning of each of the two math sections a box of formulas is presented.  However, there are two formulas that are not included that students need to know.  One is the center-radius form of the circle equation and the other is the quadratic formula.  Students should know that there is little geometry on the exam (although there is frequently a question on the volume of a cylinder), but a lot of algebra. There is usually one trigonometry question, but all students typically need to know in this field is that, in a right triangle, the Sin X = Cos Y.

Sign Up for E-News

On the Reading section, students will be glad to know that there are no longer extremely hard vocabulary words – like lugubrious or obfuscate – but rather commonplace words which they need to use in the proper context.  For example, while evacuate, retire, vacate and depart all mean “to leave,” they are certainly not interchangeable.  So students need to practice identifying the proper word based on contextual clues.

On the grammar section, which is titled, “Writing and Language,” students need to know the proper use of basic punctuation marks: comma, semi-colon, colon and hyphen.  It’s also important for students to examine each question for correct tense, structure, and word choice, and to know the difference between commonly used transition words such as “however,” “for instance,” “therefore” and “consequently.”

On all sections of the SAT, when in doubt students should go with their instinct. There is no penalty for wrong answers and, since there are four choices (A through D) for most questions, even random guessing will – according to the Laws of Probability – result in a correct answer 25 percent of the time. 

Students can take the SAT as many times as they want and (for most colleges) just send their highest scores when the time comes to submit college applications.  The next opportunity to take the SAT is August 25.

Susan Alaimo is the founder of SAT Smart. For the past 25 years, SAT Smart’s Ivy League educated tutors have prepared students for the PSAT, SAT, ACT, Subject Tests, AP courses, and all high school subjects. Visit www.SATsmart.com or call 908-369-5362.

Susan Alaimo holds presentations at local schools, including Bridgewater-Raritan High School, about the college admissions process, including test preparation, identifying ideal colleges, writing impressive essays, applying for financial aid and more. She will discuss all aspects of the college prep process

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Bridgewater/Raritan

Upcoming Events

Tue, July 17, 9:00 AM

The Wayrick Gallery, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photography Instructors’ ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Tue, July 17, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster,

2018 Members’ Non-Juried Exhibition & Sale

Arts & Entertainment

Somerville Woman Arrested for Shoplifting from Macy's, According to Bridgewater Police Report

July 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Somerville woman was arrested for allegedly shoplifting more than $400 worth of merchandise from Macy's at the Bridgewater Commons Mall July 7, according to a report from Bridgewater Township Police.

Sara Morales-Silva, 51, was charged with shoplifting after she was found with about $435.04 worth of merchandise from the store.

She was processed and released pending a ...

Creating a Dynamite Job Portfolio

July 16, 2018

The job market continues to change, as does the way we look for work. This Workshop examines the value of presenting yourself as a complete package by using a resume as an introduction to an employer and backing it up with a portfolio presented at the interview.

How You Will Benefit:

Learn how to brand yourself and define yourself using descriptive language.
Explore the essential ...

Somerville: Gallery Hosts Photo Society's 90th Anniversary Exhibit

July 15, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Arts on Division is presenting “Visions of Raritan Photographic Society – A Celebration of 90 years” from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at the Gallery on Division, 15B Division Street.

The Raritan Photographic Society, founded in 1929, is the oldest photography club in New Jersey. The exhibit celebrates the organization's 90 years ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

Take Action to Reduce Debt

In our last article, we broached the subject of debt and the township’s reliance – or over-reliance – on debt to fund our yearly expenditures for items such as roads. So, ok, we want to reduce our reliance on debt moving forward, especially as the cost of borrowing is rising. What’s the solution?

Well, there’s no magic wand we can wave to suddenly end ...

Is the Mediterranean Diet Still the Best for Heart Healthy Eating?

The Mediterranean diet has long been the standard for heart healthy eating.  It is a diet that emphasizes olive oil, fresh vegetables, nuts, whole grains over refined grains, fish and plant-based protein over red meat, herbs and spices to flavor food over salt, and fresh fruit for dessert instead of refined sweets. The US News and World Report even named the Mediterranean diet its ...

Celebrate Summer with Freedom & Responsibility

Parents and students rejoice!

School is out and everyone can now experience a great sense of freedom. Kids want to be outside enjoying summer weather and; although it’s the most wonderful season for non-academic activities involving swimming, traveling, and hiking to name a few, let us not forget that summer loss is a serious long-term result of not opening a book or writing for eight ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...