How to Improve Your SAT Score

Improving your SAT score isn’t as simple making a resolution to “study more.” It takes specific knowledge of the SAT and how it works to optimize your chances of success. Preferably, this knowledge would be used in conjunction with a study program designed to improve your specific abilities. Here are some helpful tips to improve your SAT score.

How Does The SAT Score Work?

Before you work on improving your score, you’ll have to know exactly what it is you’ll need to improve upon. The SAT is broken up into two individual sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and Math.

When you get an answer correct, it goes towards what’s known as your “Raw Score,” or simply the number of all your correct answers added up. If you get an answer wrong, it will count the same as an answer that’s left incomplete—which is to say, it simply won’t count towards your raw score.

These Raw Scores are then put through a scale system. This is what the college board uses to make sure that the results are equal across multiple versions of the test. If you ever feel like a test at a certain date is “harder” than a test at a previous date, don’t worry—scaling tends to take care of this.

Ultimately, you’ll score between a 400 and a 1600, depending on just how many raw points you were able to score and the scaling system employed. So how might you increase your own SAT score using this knowledge?

Improving Your SAT Score

Given what we know about how the SAT is scored, what kind of tips might help you practically improve your score? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Remember that there’s no punishment for guessing. The goal with the SAT is to improve your raw score as much as possible, which means that there’s no difference between a bad guess and an answer left blank. Try to avoid leaving any answers blank whatsoever, even if it means that you have to pick some answers at random.
  • Understand principles and avoid memorization. Memorization is great for specific definitions. But if you take the test multiple times, memorization isn’t going to help you. It’s far more efficient to understand principles. For example, when understanding a definition of a word, it helps to have a thorough understanding of common prefixes and suffixes to give yourself some context. Then, with the help of deduction and multiple choice, you can make educated guesses even when you aren’t certain of the answer.
  • Sign up for an SAT Prep Course. Of course, it’s not enough to simply understand how the test works. You’ll need a study program specifically created to help you boost your chances on college entrance exams. That’s why we recommend enrolling in an SAT prep course from Jantzi. These courses don’t just help you stick to a system of accountability—they help you target your study on the EBRW and Math sections of the SAT.
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