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Test Taking

Boost Your SAT Score by 20%: Ace the Exam with Jake's 6 Proven Strategies for Stress-Free Success

August 10, 2023

As a student preparing for the SAT, you know the exam can be a challenging hurdle. However, with the right strategies, you can boost your scores and open doors to your dream colleges. This guide will share six effective strategies that have proven to be helpful in achieving better SAT scores and building confidence. So, let's dive in and unlock your full potential!

1. Take AP courses

One of the best ways to prepare for the SAT is by taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school. These rigorous courses not only demonstrate your academic readiness to colleges but also provide an opportunity to delve deeper into the subjects that will be tested on the SAT. AP courses cover the same material in greater detail, allowing you to build a solid foundation of knowledge and critical thinking skills.

🚀Example: If you're interested in pursuing a career in engineering, taking AP Calculus and AP Physics will not only boost your understanding of these subjects but also prepare you for the math and science sections of the SAT.

2. Know where you stand after taking the PSAT-related tests

The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a valuable tool to assess your strengths and weaknesses in the subjects tested on the SAT. After taking the PSAT-related tests, carefully review your performance and identify areas that need improvement. Use the detailed score reports to understand which sections and question types you should focus on during your SAT preparation.

🚀Example: If you scored well in the Reading section but struggled in the Math section, prioritize your efforts on improving your math skills through targeted practice and study.

3. Try official SAT practice on Khan Academy

Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy is a goldmine for SAT preparation. It offers personalized study plans based on your PSAT/NMSQT scores and progress, allowing you to focus on the areas that need the most attention. The interactive practice questions and full-length tests are designed to mirror the real SAT, giving you a taste of what to expect on test day.

🚀Example: Jane, a high school junior, struggled with time management during practice tests. With Official SAT Practice, she received tailored practice sets to improve her pacing and built confidence for the actual exam.

4. Use your time on official SAT practice wisely

Consistency is key in SAT preparation, but it's essential to make the most of your study time. Rather than aimlessly completing endless practice questions, focus on understanding your mistakes and learning from them. Analyze the solutions to questions you answered incorrectly, and identify any patterns of errors to avoid repeating them in the future.

🚀Example: John realized he often misread word problems in the Math section, leading to incorrect answers. By reviewing his mistakes and practicing careful reading, he improved his accuracy significantly.

5. Don't study like it's 1999

Gone are the days of using outdated study methods. Embrace technology and modern resources to enhance your SAT preparation. Online platforms, digital study materials, and educational websites like Aha offer quality sample questions and personalized AI-driven analysis of your weak points. Utilizing these digital tools can give you a competitive edge in your SAT journey.

🚀Example: Sarah, a tech-savvy student, incorporated Aha into her study routine. The AI analysis highlighted her weak areas, allowing her to target those specific concepts and significantly improve her scores.

6. Create a study group

Studying for the SAT doesn't have to be a solo journey. Forming a study group with classmates or friends who are also preparing for the exam can be incredibly beneficial. Collaborating with others allows you to share different perspectives, exchange study materials, and engage in meaningful discussions about challenging topics. Explaining concepts to others can reinforce your understanding and help you remember information more effectively.

🚀Example: Emily and her study group meet twice a week to review practice tests and discuss their strategies for each section. They take turns explaining the reasoning behind their answers, and the group members offer helpful insights to improve their approaches.


1. What are the 3 essential SAT taking tips and strategies?

  1. Time management: Efficiently managing your time during the SAT is crucial. Divide your time wisely among sections and questions, focusing on easier questions first to secure points. If you encounter a challenging question, skip it and return later if time allows.
  2. Elimination technique: Use the process of elimination to increase your chances of selecting the correct answer. Start by eliminating obviously incorrect choices, narrowing down your options and making an informed guess if necessary.
  3. Focus on accuracy: Emphasize accuracy over speed. Carefully read each question and passage, and answer with precision. Minimizing mistakes will lead to a higher overall score.

2. What is the best strategy for taking the SAT?

The best strategy for the SAT involves a combination of preparation, practice, and staying calm on test day. Here's a step-by-step approach:

  1. Preparation: Familiarize yourself with the SAT format and content through practice tests, study guides, and reputable online resources. Set realistic score goals based on your college preferences.
  2. Create a study plan: Develop a study plan tailored to your strengths and weaknesses. Dedicate time to review essential concepts in each section and improve time management skills.
  3. Consistent practice: Regularly take practice tests under timed conditions to simulate the actual exam. Analyze your performance, identify weak areas, and adjust your study plan accordingly.
  4. Test-taking strategies: Learn specific strategies for each section, such as effective reading techniques, math problem-solving shortcuts, and tips for the essay section.
  5. Simulate test conditions: Prior to the test day, take full-length practice tests in a quiet environment to get accustomed to the time constraints and reduce test-day anxiety.
  6. Rest and relaxation: The night before the exam, get ample rest and avoid last-minute cramming. On test day, stay calm, take deep breaths, and maintain a positive mindset.

3. Which SAT section is hardest to improve?

Improvement varies for each student, but many find the SAT Reading section challenging to improve significantly. It requires strong critical reading skills, quick comprehension, and the ability to analyze complex passages within time constraints.

To improve SAT Reading:

  1. Practice regularly: Read various texts, including academic articles and literature, to enhance your reading speed and comprehension.
  2. Active reading: Engage with passages by underlining key points, taking brief notes, and identifying main ideas and supporting evidence.
  3. Answering strategies: Practice answering different question types, such as inference and evidence-based questions. Learn how to locate specific details within passages efficiently.
  4. Vocabulary enhancement: Expand your vocabulary to comprehend complex texts better. Focus on context clues and word roots.
  5. Timed practice: Take timed Reading section practice tests to improve pacing and simulate real exam conditions.

Remember, with consistent effort and targeted practice, you can improve in any SAT section and achieve your desired score.


In conclusion, achieving better SAT scores is within your reach with these five perfectly good strategies. By taking AP courses, analyzing your PSAT results, using Official SAT Practice, practicing wisely, and embracing modern study resources, you can maximize your SAT potential and increase your chances of admission to your dream colleges. So, start early, practice diligently, and remember that preparation is the key to success on test day.

Don't forget to take advantage of the powerful learning tools available on Aha, a learning website with tons of quality sample questions and AI analysis to further boost your SAT preparation. Sign up now and unlock your path to SAT success!

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