How to Increase SAT Score by 200 Points?
Earning a high SAT score can help increase your chances of getting into the college of your dreams. While there is no specific number for you to reach in order to have a score that is “good enough,” if you’ve set your sights on a highly competitive school, like one of the eight Ivy League schools, you are going to want a score between 1450 and 1600.
Many top schools have several applicants that score in the 99th percentile on the SAT, so you will want to have a competitive score to stand out during the admissions process.
However, if you’ve taken the SAT and earned a less than desirable score, that does not mean that you need to give up hope. With the right resources and a little hard work, you can turn a 1250 into a 1450 or a 1300 into a 1500.
If you’re shy of your goal and you want to increase your SAT score by 200 points or more, there are steps you can take to boost your score.
Here are a few strategies and tips you can use to achieve a significant increase in your SAT score:
Set a goal
The first step you need to take if you want to increase your SAT score between administrations is to set a goal or a target score that you want to reach. This will help you keep track of your progress as you study and let you know if you need to complete more review or sign up for an SAT prep course before you take the test again.
If your goal is to improve your score by 20 points, your strategy will be a lot different than if your goal is to improve your score by 200 points or more.
Visit your prospective colleges’ websites and the College Board website to see the average SAT scores for applicants who are applying to the schools on your list, see how different scores translate to different percentiles, and look at the requirements for various scholarships so that you can determine the score you would like to reach and set your study plan accordingly.
Set aside time to study
While this tip might seem like a no-brainer, there are many students who try to increase their SAT score without spending adequate time studying first.
Some students sign up for multiple test administrations without leaving enough time between test dates for them to put in the hours of studying necessary to make significant gains, or they sign up for a test date that is during the busiest part of their school year.
If you’re aiming for a 200 point score increase, an extra hour or two of studying is not going to cut it. Even if you already have a high score, you are going to want to dedicate several weeks to consistent SAT studying and review to drastically improve your score. For instance, if your test date is in December, you are going to want to start studying by September.
Plan to devote at least 3-4 hours each week to preparing for the SAT and make sure that you have a consistent study schedule so that you can make progress.
Dedicating hours each week to studying for the SAT may sound good in theory, but if you’re simply taking practice test after practice test without any review, you are not actually making good use of your time.
It is important for you to study effectively in order for you to see your score increase. This means not only taking practice tests, but also reviewing your answers.
If a basketball player wants to improve their free-throw accuracy by taking 100 extra free throws after each practice, but they never make any adjustments to the way that they shoot when they miss, then this extra practice is worthless.
Likewise, if you take practice quizzes, but fail to review your answers and learn from your mistakes, you are not making the most of your study time. The key to improving your SAT score is to learn why you miss the questions you missed so that you won’t miss them in the future. Studying and studying well is integral to success on the SAT.
While taking an SAT prep course or working with a private SAT tutor are two of the best ways to make sure that you are ready to improve your SAT score the next time you take the test, you can also benefit from trying what I call the 1,000 Question Rule. With this strategy, you answer and review 1,000 questions before taking the SAT, guaranteeing you will have prepared for every type of question you will encounter on test day.
Learn section-specific tips and tricks
Maybe you’ve already earned an incredible score on the SAT Math section, and the colleges on your list are superscoring the SAT. Maybe your SAT Reading score is impeccable, but you need a significant boost on the SAT Math section. Knowing section-specific strategies can make a huge difference on test day.
Here are a few tips to help you increase your score for these two sections:
- Don’t over rely on your calculator. Too many students use the calculator as a crutch and waste time using the calculator to solve problems they can solve easily on their own.
- Prepare for each subsection. You will encounter Heart of Algebra questions, Problem Solving and Data Analysis questions, Passport to Advanced Math questions, and Additional Topics in Math questions. Make sure you understand exactly which types of questions you will encounter in each of these subsections.
- Memorize key formulas. Do you know the quadratic formula by heart? What about the Pythagorean Theorem? Memorize all of the formulas you will need to know on the test so that you don’t have to waste time flipping through your test book to find the information you need.
- Know and address your weaknesses. Are you solid on math content, but struggling with time management? Vice versa? Figure out your weaknesses so that you can address them before your next test.
SAT Reading and Writing
- Don’t be afraid to answer questions out of order. Contrary to popular belief, questions on the reading section are not in order of difficulty. Feel free to start with the easiest questions first. Oftentimes it is helpful to save the main idea questions for the end.
- Brush up on your grammar. Do you know how to fix dangling or misplaced modifiers? Are you confident about fixing run on sentences or incorrect comma placement? Can you identify a comma splice? If not, you are going to want to brush up on these and other grammar skills before retaking the SAT.
- Eliminate wordiness and redundancy. On the writing and language section, you will see questions requiring you to make a sentence more concise. Eliminate phrases like “being that” and see which option gets the same point across without using superfluous words.
Take an SAT Prep course
One of the most effective and efficient ways for you to receive the practice and learn the strategies you need to raise your SAT score is to take an SAT prep course. These courses are designed to help assess students’ weaknesses, address common mistakes, and provide the practice and review necessary for doing well on the SAT.
Here at Prep Expert, we offer flexible SAT prep courses that can help you reach your goals on the SAT: our 8-Week Capstone SAT Prep Course and our 6-Week Flagship SAT Prep Course both come with a 200-Point Score Improvement Guarantee.
Increase your chances of earning scholarship money and admittance into your top schools when you raise your SAT score using one of Prep Expert’s SAT prep courses. Enroll today!