Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.

I began preparing for the SAT during the summer of 2016 and I continued my preparation until the fall of 2017. Throughout this period, I utilized three study tips that benefited me greatly; I prioritized my responsibilities, I asked my father for help, and I took as many practice tests as I could. Instead of partaking in leisurely activities or sleeping in, I spent every Saturday morning of my sophomore year of high school in my kitchen taking practice tests. I realized that I had trouble managing my time in an efficient manner when practicing, so I asked my father for help. He would time me and give me warnings when I was wasting too much time on one question. I printed out all the SAT practice tests that were provided by the College Board and I would take one practice test every Saturday morning with my father’s help. I began to manage my time during the practice tests without my father giving me warnings two Saturdays before the official SAT test date. My initial SAT score was 960. After setting aside leisurely activities and focusing on what is important to me, asking for help, and doing as much practice as I could, I was able to improve my score and earn a 1350 on the SAT.
I was trying to apply test-taking shortcuts and to speed through the test towards the beginning of my SAT preparation because those methods worked for some of my peers. They did not work for me and my SAT score remained stagnant. The methods that increased my score by 390 points were beneficial because I was able to spend a lot of time practicing. I was also able to become more accustomed to the format of the SAT test and the types of questions that I would be asked. Asking my father for help was especially beneficial because we were able to find the root of the problem and find methods that would work for me. My advice for people planning on taking the SAT: use your time wisely, do not be afraid to ask for help, and practice, practice, practice!

Anna from Pennsylvania
College Sophomore
University of Pittsburgh