How I increased my SAT score by 100+points in a month. And, How you can too. (Just read through)
(All resources and bullet points)
Disclaimer: Every student taking the SAT have their own personal target score, and the aim of this blog is to help all student improve their SAT score by discussing resources that have been helpful to many students. Before I begin, I must tell you that I took the SATs twice, and I will discuss how I approached the test each time. Also, as I am speaking from a personal experience, I might not have covered all the resources out there that student can use to prepare for the SATs. Nevertheless, all these methods and resources worked for me and my friends who have stellar scores so, I hope it will certainly be productive for you as well.
Used terms meaning: QAS mean PAST SAT QUESTIONS. They are available in reddit SAT (Link given below: https://www.reddit.com/r/Sat/comments/cufsxg/all_qas_tests_and_scoring/ )
Important note: You do not need to buy the official College Board book. Everything in that book can be found on the internet(resources links given below) and the question set in that book is found here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Sat/comments/cufsxg/all_qas_tests_and_scoring/
1st Test: (590E and 770M)
Like most first-generation student, with little knowledge about SAT and how to move forward with preparation, I joined an Institute for my SAT preparation. The classes were two hour long, and I was also provided with a book, apparently prepared by the Institute itself. I practiced few SAT books I could find in the library including but not limited to Princeton and Barron’s (including practice test papers and workbooks). With a mindset that since I had already taken the class and, had practiced quite a lot, I was confident of a 1400 score (my target score) but, I got 1360 (770 M & 590 E) in the actual test in October 2019.
What went wrong:
1. I just practiced from Princeton and Barrons Book and completed the institution’s practice book, without researching if they actually were resourceful.
2. I just completed about 5 of the actual College Board tests from khanacademy.
3. I did not research about the resources.
4. I did not have any study buddy. It is very important to have one so that you can check and review each other’s mistakes.
2nd Test: (730 E and 760M)
For the second test (in December 2019), I started preparing from Nov 3 due to Dashain and Tihar. After my test result, I started reading novels which helped me a lot. To make it easy to follow, I will be writing in bullet points what I did right to score 1490 from 1360.
1. I realized that attending 2 hours lecture had made me believe that I had practiced enough and so I didn’t practice at home the way I should have. So, this time I skipped the urge to re-take the classes at Institution.
2. I found the best resources there are for SAT Preparation and the best community for SAT Preparation. https://www.reddit.com/r/Sat/ Then I printed the English section of all 19 QAS because you can directly solve maths from a mobile/laptop screen. https://www.reddit.com/r/Sat/comments/cufsxg/all_qas_tests_and_scoring/
3. I asked my friend to practice together. We created a daily routine to solve all the 19 QAS that were released. We tried to simulate the actual testing environment and even made a goal to finish the practice tests in 5–10 minutes less than the stipulated time. English section in the morning (7:30 AM to 9:00 and Math Section in the evening (6:00 PM to 7:15) and allowed ourselves enough time to check for errors.
4. FOR ENGLISH (General) — Finding out about Erica Meltzer was the key in my preparation, I did 1 QAS a day as I went through the Erica Meltzer reading and writing book. At the end of each chapter, I made sure to complete the questions that followed in the book. At the same time, I used 1600.io to check, learn and better understand the right and wrong choices, with reasons. It may sound like a bit much, but this is the best way. After checking out around 15 QAS answers from 1600.io, we could kind of guess the right answer because of the answer’s tone and nature. My scores had increased from 600ish to 700+. Max I got was 750 during my practice test and I was able to actually get 730 in real tests so this was really worked.
For Reading Passage Technique:
If you are someone like me, someone who has done very little reading(novels) apart from academic reasons, worry not. I was able to improve, so you can too.
- The best way to start is to begin, I began by reading “The Alchemist”, a book that helped me improve my reading, my ability to better grasp information and retain them to form a full picture. After finishing the Alchemist book, I could actually follow the story in the literature passage of SAT and was able to answer the questions without going back to passage frequently. So, read books, especially novels (Must Read “The Alchemist” because of its short and easy to follow story), they not only help improve your reading technique and retaining information but also improves your language and grammar.
- Furthermore, I stumbled upon this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1VOUvAjUDo) and it was quite helpful to me. I read the passage very thoroughly before going to the questions as suggested. It helped me better understand the text and made it easier for me to answer things like main idea, structure of the passage, the purpose of a certain paragraph in context to the whole passage or author’s argument, etc.) Reading the passage thoroughly initially made me a lot more confident in my answers, as I was now able to know if the question asked was discussed/mentioned in any other section of the passage.
5. FOR MATH — I used to complete 1 QAS’s math section per day and check in which chapter I made the most errors. Then I would go to that chapter in “College Panda math book” and focus on that particular chapter.
Links and resources: These are resources that I used overall during my preparation along with link to the drive (all the mentioned books are in this drive folder) https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1urmhYFxbNF__Bi7dsg8vTVYtyFBhhGMa?usp=sharing )
- Use college panda book for Math Section. (Best for math)
- Use Erica Meltzer Critical Reader and Writing 4th edition for English. (Best for English)
- Although Erica Meltzer writing is usually enough, you can also go through the college panda writing if you have time.
- While practicing for writing Section, you should use grammar workbook. (I would recommend you complete the “grammar workbook” and then practice the other Sat Questions from College Board or Khanacademy.(https://www.khanacademy.org/SAT )
- Use 1600.io (https://1600.io/ ) for checking errors and learning new ways to ace the test. We bought its 1-month subscription and used it. It is by far the best way to solve our queries in English Section and drastically increase your score.
- QAS Links: https://www.reddit.com/r/Sat/comments/cufsxg/all_qas_tests_and_scoring/
- Lastly use the SAT prep black book for checking your errors while doing SAT Official Practice test 1–4. (Really helpful but too many methods which can sometimes be counterproductive). If you are like me, I would recommend just the college panda book for easy and simple methods (for maths) and 1600.io 1 month subscription (for english).
- If you have very little time before your test date then you can read this blog. It is also quite useful for eveyone. So, read it. https://blog.prepscholar.com/how-to-improve-your-sat-by-100-in-1-month
Thank you for reading. We wish you all the best for your upcoming SAT. Hope you get your dream score. Also, if you have any queries about anything you need to know about SAT Preparation, please comment down below. We will surely answer them.