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“Lots of practice and focus on school course work are key to success” – a top scorer in SAT

Why SAT?

Apart from being is a globally recognized test to admit students into schools in US and the world, your SAT score often becomes a basis to secure scholarship and merit aid. Also, your score is an indicator to your desired school of your ability to handle future courses. So brace yourself!

What is the timeline and cost?

Typically, SAT is held 7 times in the US and 6 times internationally. The latest test dates are October 11, 2014 and November 8, 2014. Registration can be done online prior to one month of the test. It is advisable to take the test two years before you plan to enter the university. It costs around Rs3000. Plan ahead!

Which skills are tested?

SAT primarily tests your reading, writing and mathematical skills. Broadly, you need to focus on critical reading, grammar usage, logical thinking, analytical ability, quantitative aptitude and good writing skills. Read on to know how to tackle each section.

How to prepare?

The one mantra is to practice online mock test papers. There are three sections each for reading, writing and maths. Below are the areas to focus on:

  • Comprehension – Make sure that a single read of the comprehension is sufficient to answer the questions related to it. You can also start by reading the questions related to the passage first. This may increase your speed and accuracy.
  • Building vocabulary – Do a lot of outside reading. Make your personal vocabulary list and add at least 5 new words daily. Also try to find the antonyms and synonyms of these words. You will be surprised with the long term dividends of this effort.
  • Grammar usage – High School English Grammar and Composition by Wren & Martin is considered to be the bible for English grammar guidelines. Try solving their exercises.
  • Identification of errors – This comprises of grammar, choice of words, sentence construction and punctuation. Extensive reading and exhaustive practice would do the trick for you.
  • Mathematics – Practice problems on arithmetic, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability.