Abdullah's SAT Journey to 1450!
Reading proved to be the trickiest part: not only for preparation but also in the exam as well. Starting with the preparation, I knew that reading would be hard. It is the most infamous section of the SAT. However, I had this misconception that due to being an avid novel reader for the last eleven years, I would have the English section under my belt. This is not the case; while it is true that being a regular reader does make a few things easy, most of the reading section depends upon your practice and how you choose to approach the passages.
I started approaching the passages in a different way than usual. Owing to my fast speed in reading, I started by skimming though the passage in 1-2 minutes, and then started from the last question of the passage to the first. I employed this method due to the trend of the passage questions. Most of them have the central theme related question in the beginning and then the specific evidence related question in the end. So by starting from the end, even if you didn’t understand the passage upon skimming, the specific evidence related questions would give you a better idea of what’s being talked about. This technique worked out for me and in practice exams I was able to achieve a score of 720-740, which was great improvement from my original 630.
I practiced all the material that was provided by Sir Talal, which helped me immensely in understanding all the concepts. The “Qs Types” and the “Reading exams” that he shares are extremely relevant and provide the perfect practice that you need.
This section was the second hardest. First of all, get acquainted with all the grammar rules and their examples. Half of your job is done already once you do this. I recommend the manuals shared by Brightlink and all the material posted online. It is all you require to ace this section. The next part is your implication of these newly learned rules. This relies greatly on your practice. For writing, I practiced it harder than either Mathematics or Reading, because, as an O-levels English student, grammar was alien to me. I practiced up to 4-5 passages every day and then was able to improve my score from 32/44 to an average of 40 or 42. This, I believe, is the most practice-intensive part of the SAT.
Mathematics, for me, was the easiest. SAT maths focuses on the basics and does not go in much detail. Most of the questions in SAT maths are very generic and upon doing a few practice tests, you will realize that there is no huge variation in the types of question given in the SAT. What needs to be done is, first and foremost, strengthening of core concepts through revision of notes and then extensive practice. A score of above 750 in SAT Maths can guarantee you a safe overall (or super score), so when your reading goes bad, you can fall back on Maths (that is what I did). All in all, the strategy I employed is easy to understand. I used the material provided by Sir Talal and after exhausting all of that I attempted the question bank of Uworld.com which has 400+ questions for maths (very accurate towards the real thing), and completed them all. The amazing thing about this website is, it categorizes the wrong answers as well, so you always have an idea where you went wrong.