5 SAT Improvement Tips For Your Second Attempt

Don’t think of the SAT as a one-and-done test; most students take it multiple times to improve their final scores. Colleges and universities know that and don’t hold it against you. So use our SAT improvement tips to get you ready for a second round.

Our SAT improvement tips here will set you on the path for a stronger score on your second attempt…as long as you put in the necessary time and work.

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sat improvement tips

Start Preparing For The Next Test Date

Start getting ready again immediately after completing a test date.

Ideally, after you finish taking the SAT, you should get a pen and paper to write down notes. Things to remember include:

  • Which concepts confused you
  • Which questions were especially difficult
  • Sections that were harder than you thought they’d be

These initial impressions will prove invaluable when reviewing your score report. If you find your notes corresponding with lower section scores, then you know exactly what to address when preparing for a second test date. This time around you can easily narrow your focus better.

Focus On Target Score Range

Figure out where you want your score to be.

If you’re taking the SAT a second time, then think about what kind of score you want to ultimately achieve. Think about these questions:

  • Is there a specific score I need for my dream school(s)?
  • How far am I from that score now?
  • Is it achievable?
  • What sections do I need to improve on to get there?

By figuring out how much you need to improve, you can better focus your efforts. More importantly, that clear goal will sustain your motivation when studying gets monotonous.

Find A Study Group

You aren’t taking the SAT alone; find other students like yourself to prepare together.

If you and your friends are collectively taking the SAT, then use that brain power to your advantage. Form a study group and get to work. Study group advantages include:

  • Sharing strategies
  • Holding each other accountable
  • Setting up score goals
  • Helping fill in the gaps for specific problem sections

If you aren’t sure of where to look for a pre-existing group, then check out:

  • Your high school
  • Local community college
  • Local libraries

Either way, you can get more work done in less time if you help each other out.

Work On Previous Mistakes

Use your score report to identify problem areas.

Your score report won’t tell you exactly which questions you missed, but they will indicate where your comprehension is weakest. Start by looking over that section’s concepts and take practice tests to see if your knowledge and application improves.

Other common mistakes to address are:

  • Rushing through questions
  • Pacing errors that cause missed or skipped questions
  • Knowledge gaps based on specific subjects

The good news is these are all mistakes that are fixable, as long as you put in the time and practice. Your second round of scores should noticeably improve from it.

Take Numerous Practice Tests

Use practice tests to gauge your progress.

The SAT is a taxing test, so prepare for it like a marathon, not a sprint. What that means is studying concepts and taking many realistic practice tests. Realistic means timing yourself on each section and finishing within the timeframe, whether you’re done or not.

You can then see what’s getting better or worse comprehension-wise. Moreover, it’s easier to see if your answer timing needs to improve. For example, at Prep Expert, students take weekly practice tests to see how well they’re improving from week to week.

Not only does this help them address continuing problems, but they get very familiar with the test format itself. As a result, they aren’t tripped up by test pressure, because they’ve trained for those specific conditions.

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