SAT Score Breakdown:
Reading – 350
Writing – 350
Mathematics – 790
When I joined Tutoria for the first time, I was very confused about my SAT preparation. With the vast range of books and resources available, I didn’t know what to rely on or which rules to follow. Gradually, through Sir Talal’s guidance I was able to truly understand the SAT exam and approach it with more confidence.
Studying smart is very important, especially for the SAT. Following the wrong resources, or resources different from the pattern of the actual SAT, can not only result in no improvement in scores, but also a dip in them. However, Sir Talal provided a vast collection of resources for me to study all of which helped improve my score.
I, personally, struggled with this section the most. Time is trickiest to manage in this section specifically. After all, you have to read approximately 800 words and attempt about 11 questions all under 13 minutes! But, practice is the key to drastically improving your score. The reading drills and Khan Academy passages shared by Sir Talal are very useful in this regard. I would recommend attempting as many practice passages as you can, strictly timing yourself. You should also go over the Question types Sir Talal has provided to familiarize yourself with the skills tested. Improvement will be gradual, but don’t be demoralized.
Since the reading section tests our ability to understand passages covering a wide range of topics, I would suggest focusing on one area (Science, Social Science, History and Literature) at a time. This is because different things should be focused on while reading the different types of passages. For example, while reading Literature passages, it’s particularly important to take into notice the language of the passage which is not as important for science passages. Another useful tip is to “mark-up and summarize” while reading the passage. Also, it helps to underline the key ideas in each paragraph as well as to write down the main ideas of each paragraph and the passage as a whole. This especially helps in comprehension and retention of the content.
One important thing to note is that most students struggle with choosing the correct option because “all the options seem correct”. This couldn’t be more wrong. Even though this took me a while to figure out, the key lies in focusing on the wording of the answer choices. Only one option is correct; all the others are deceiving but have some sort of mistake in them. The better you become at understanding why that option is right and why the others are wrong, the closer you’ll get to mastering the reading section.
I went from getting 15 wrong on my first practice test to 4 wrong on the actual SAT because of these techniques. So can you!
This section is quite easy to improve in because it involves following a few grammar rules. Once you get the hang of those, you’ll see a huge improvement in your score. I improved a lot as well and got 3 wrong in this section on the actual SAT. Sir Talal’s writing manuals, the 6 exams and other ample material shared by him on writing are very useful resources for this section. If it helps, make a list of all the important rules and revise them regularly to ensure a good score. Focus on the underlined portions of the passage, but don’t completely ignore the rest of the parts because there are some general questions that require an understanding of the whole passage. Here, again, it is important to understand why the wrong options are wrong. This helps you develop a critical mindset and it will help you avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.
This is also a section where you can see massive improvement. If you don’t study Math anymore, you might find this section difficult at first but mostly it covers fundamental topics which we’ve all studied at some point in our lives. Again, practice makes perfect, especially for efficient time management, and the resources provided by Sir Talal make it very easy to do so. The math manuals and Sir Talal’s lectures are extremely useful in understanding the concepts being tested. The Must Do Questions are great practice for specific topics. While practicing this section, try and find out new and faster ways of getting to the answers for particular questions. Avoid silly mistakes by underlining key points in the question as well as the target answer. If you can, make a list of all the questions you got wrong and revise them regularly to avoid mistakes in the same type of questions. Another tip, as surprising as it sounds, is not to use the calculator more than you need to, even in the calculator section. You probably will be able to do most questions faster without using a calculator. Overall, it’s an easy section to improve in through constant practice and intelligent working.
To sum it all up, the SAT requires abundant and consistent practice, which may be tough but will definitely yield amazing results. I would definitely recommend taking lessons from Sir Talal as he’s very experienced. He knows all the areas tested in detail, the common mistakes students make and how to move past them. He provides ample material for practice and always helps with questions you can’t do on your own. All the techniques I’ve mentioned I’ve learned from him and I’m sure he could be great help for you too.
A general advice I want to include here is identify your strengths and weaknesses, Of course, do try to improve on your weaknesses but don’t forget to work on your strengths as well. Not only will you find it easier to do the latter, but it’ll also you’ll also be able to show more marked improvement by playing by your strengths!