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SAT Score Improvement Hacks

If you don’t like your first SAT composite score, don’t get mad. Get to studying. There’s always room for SAT score improvement, as long as you put in the work for it.

SAT score improvement is actually pretty easy to do; all you need is a gameplan and time to prepare for another test date.

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sat score improvement

Determine Your Target Score

Have a specific number in mind.

An easy way to see how much work you have to do is pick a target score. Let’s say your first SAT attempt ended up with a 1320 score.

You want to have a score around 1500 the next time out. Great. Now you know that you have to do 180 points worth of improvement. In general, if you’re further away from your target score, the easier it is to see big improvements.

Why? Because by addressing problem sections that dragged down your score before, you’ll see immediate boosts next time out.

Immediate Schedule Your Next Test Date

Don’t waste time on the next test date.

If you aren’t happy with your first SAT attempt, don’t get mad. Get ready for the next date as soon as you can. Takedown notes on what sections and kinds of questions gave you problems.

Wait for your score report to return, so you can see which sections gave you the most trouble. Afterward, pick a target date for your next attempt and start getting to work. You’ll already have experience with taking the real thing, so it’s not foreign anymore.

All you’re doing now is fixing what you didn’t know needed help before. The next test date will keep you motivated and prevent self-doubt.


Find Or Form A Study Group

Work with others like yourself to get a better score.

Chances are high that friends or other classmates took the test too and want to improve their scores. Ask around and see if there’s a study group to get ready for the next date.

If not, don’t be afraid to start one yourself. An obvious benefit is a group of students helping each other fix mistakes that their peers made.

If you’re strong at Math but not at the Reading section, you’ll get help from a kid who is perfect at Reading questions. Common places to find existing study groups include your high school, library, or even a community college.

Trust The Process Of Elimination

Don’t be afraid to cross out choices when practicing.

No matter how hard a given SAT question is, if you can eliminate two answer choices, your odds have increased by 50%. The process of elimination is the last resort to use if you honestly can’t crack how to answer a given question in time.

If you have to guess, at least guess confidently. Look at the choices and see if there are any obviously wrong ones. If you have time, plug a couple of them into the question and see if they check out. If not, chuck them right away.

Remember, there is no penalty for guessing on the SAT. You have a better chance of getting points by smartly guessing than skipping questions.


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Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Written by Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Prep Expert Founder & CEO

Shark Tank Winner, Perfect SAT Scorer, Dermatologist, & #1 Bestselling Author
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